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Tablet sales slow in 2Q on absence of new iPad, IDC says

The research firm says tablet shipments should remain weak in the current quarter but pick up in the last three months of the year.

The iPad Mini.
The second quarter wasn't especially bright for tablet sales, and Apple is partly to blame, according to IDC.

Tablet makers shipped 45.1 million tablets in the second quarter, down 9.7 percent sequentially, according to IDC. That's still a sharp 60 percent increase from the same period a year ago but is the first time sales have slid between the first and second quarters.

Part of the reason for the weaker quarter was the lack of a new iPad from Apple. In years past, the company has launched a new tablet heading into the second quarter, which helped boost sales. But Apple of late has started launching its new tablets later in the year to benefit from holiday sales.

"A new iPad launch always piques consumer interest in the tablet category and traditionally that has helped both Apple and its competitors," said Tom Mainelli, research director of tablets at IDC. "With no new iPads, the market slowed for many vendors, and that's likely to continue into the third quarter. However, by the fourth quarter we expect new products from Apple, Amazon, and others to drive impressive growth in the market."

Android and Windows tablets posted huge year-over-year jumps in second-quarter shipments, while Apple's iPad shipments slid 14 percent to 14.6 million. Apple's market share in tablets fell to 33 percent from 60 percent a year ago.

Android tablet shipments grew 163 percent to 28.2 million, giving it 63 percent share. Windows' tablet shipments jumped 527 percent, but that boosted them to only 1.8 million shipments, or 4 percent of the total market.

Tablet shipments declined sequentially in the second quarter, according to IDC. IDC

BlackBerry's tablets posted a 33 percent year-over-year drop in shipments.

"Apple aside, the remaining vendors are still very much figuring out which platform strategy will be successful over the long run," IDC's Ryan Reith said. "To date, Android has been far more successful than the Windows 8 platform. However, Microsoft-fueled products are starting to make notable progress into the market."

For individual vendors, Apple remained No. 1 despite its year-over-year shipment slide. Samsung gained a significant amount of share in the period, shipping 8.1 million tablets to nab 18 percent of the market.

Asus, Lenovo, and Acer also posted strong shipment growth, though their market share remains in the low single digits. Lenovo posted the strong growth, up 314 percent to 1.5 million shipments. That jump gave it the fourth-highest market share -- 3.3 percent -- of any vendor.