Apple's iPad is still the top tablet in terms of shipments, but its share has dropped lately against a crowd of competing devices, according to a report out today from Strategy Analytics.
For the second quarter of the year, Apple grabbed 61 percent of the global tablet business, shipping a record 9.3 million iOS-based tablets. Though still a healthy chunk, that number was down from the 94 percent share the company scooped up a year ago.
Those results aren't exactly surprising, however, given that the market has been flooded lately with rival devices from the likes of Samsung, Motorola, Acer, Research In Motion, HP, and a slew of other vendors.
Apple itself reported yesterday that it shipped 9.25 million iPads during its fiscal third quarter, which ended June 25.
Android-based tablets soaked up 30 percent of all global shipments in the second quarter, according to Strategy Analytics. However, no one single Android tablet has yet come close to matching the appeal of the iPad, and demand for many of these tablets is still "patchy," the report noted.
One device that could potentially upset the apple cart would be an Amazon tablet.
"If Amazon decides to enter the Android tablet category later this year, that will bring fresh excitement and buzz to the Android community, but Amazon will need to deliver a truly standout offering if it really wants to make headway against the popular iPad," Neil Mawston, director at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement.
Looking at other industry players, Microsoft was the world's third largest tablet vendor with a 5 percent share in the second quarter, even though its Windows 7 operating system isn't fully optimized for the tablet environment. The company has been busy prepping its next-generation Windows 8 to fully support tablets along with traditional PCs.
With its QNX-based BlackBerry PlayBook, RIM picked up 3 percent of global tablet shipments during the quarter, though Strategy Analytics pointed to a "lackluster launch" for the first PlayBook model due to its lack of native e-mail support. RIM did roll out the latest update to its BlackBerry tablet OS more than a month ago, but native e-mail was still among the features missing in action.
Overall, global tablet shipments jumped to 15.1 million in the second quarter, added the report, a gain of 331 percent from the 3.5 million shipped a year ago.