Amazon has carefully protected sales information concerning their low-budget tablet, the Kindle Fire, but a new report from iSupply, a market research firm, says that Amazon has nabbed the #2 spot in tablet market share.

Apple shipped 15.4 million iPads (all models) during the fourth quarter of 2011 according to data from iSuppli.

Apple's tablet shipments were up 39 percent from 11.1 million in the third quarter; however, Apple's share of the tablet market dropped from 64 percent in the third quarter to 57 percent in the fourth quarter.

Amazon shipped 3.9 million units of the Kindle Fire in the fourth quarter, allowing the company to grab 14.3 percent market share in fourth quarter unit shipments.

While Amazon was 7.2 million unit shipments behind Apple, it managed to separate itself from other tablet manufacturers. Samsung and Barnes & Noble garnered 8 and 7 percent of fourth-quarter market share respectively.

The 2011 fourth quarter tablet market share data gives insight into what will take place during the first quarter of 2012 and beyond. It's also important to note that in year-long unit shipments, Amazon ranked third.

Apple ended 2011 with 62 percent share in global unit shipments.  Samsung was the nearest, but failed to break into double-digits, ending the year with 9 percent share of unit shipments. Amazon held the third place spot with 6 percent -- a staggering number to end the year on considering the Amazon Kindle Fire wasn't available until mid-November 2011.