IDC reported today that the worldwide tablet market grew 75.3% compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. Even compared to the third quarter the growth was impressive with an increase of 74.3% or 22.4 million units worldwide. The total for the quarter, 52.5 million units worldwide according to preliminary data, is a new record for tablet shipments.
Tom Mainelli, a research director with IDC, attributes the strong growth to new product launches, including Microsoft’s entry into the market, and increased consumer interest in tablet devices. Market leader Apple saw growth of 48.1% compared to the same period last year. The news was not all positive for Apple though as their market share continued to decline, down 3.1% from the prior quarter and 8.1% from a year ago. Meanwhile, Apple’s primary foe, Samsung, saw year-to-year growth explode by 263.0% on the way to grabbing 15.1% of the market while shipping 7.9 million units. Amazon and ASUS both saw impressive gains year-to-year as well, with ASUS tablet shipments growing by an mind-boggling 402.3%. Barnes & Noble saw shipments slip by 27.7%, though they still managed to hold onto the number five spot.