Thanks to Apple's record-setting quarter of its iPad sales, the worldwide tablet market saw a better-than-anticipated second quarter with a robust year-over-year growth rate of 66.2 percent, according to a report by IDC.

The total worldwide tablet shipments for the second quarter of 2012 are estimated at 25 million units, up from 18.7 in the first quarter of 2012. This represents a quarter-over-quarter increase of 33.6 percent and a robust year-over-year growth rate of 66.2 percent, up from 15 million units in the second quarter of 2011.

According to preliminary data from IDC, the Cupertino tech giant, with 68.2 percent of market share, shipped 17 million iPads during the quarter, up from 11.8 million units in the previous quarter and well above its previous record of 15.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.

"Apple built upon its strong March iPad launch and ended the quarter with its best-ever shipment total for the iPad, outrunning even the impressive shipment record it set in the fourth quarter of last year," said Tom Mainelli, research director, Mobile Connected Devices.

"The vast majority of consumers continue to favor the iPad over competitors, and Apple is seeing increasingly strong interest in the device from vertical markets-especially education. While iPad shipment totals are beginning to slow a bit in mature markets where the device saw early traction, growth in other regions is clearly more than making up the difference," Mainelli added.

Apple wasn't the only company to experience solid growth in the second quarter. Four of the top five worldwide vendors saw their shipments increase year over year.

South Korean conglomerate Samsung, landed in the second place, shipped 2.4 million units, up from 1.1 million units a year ago, which accounted for market shares of 9.6 percent.

Amazon bounced back from a sluggish first quarter to post shipments of 1.2 million units with a market share of 5 percent. The company, which ships its Fire tablet only in the U.S., entered the market in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The next in the list was ASUS, which shipped 855,454 units during the period, well above its total of 397,048 units a year ago.  It was followed by Acer, whose year-over-year numbers declined by 38.7 percent. The company shipped 385,458 units this quarter, down from 629,222 units a year ago.

However, shipments of the well-received Google/ASUS co-branded Nexus 7 aren't reflected in these totals, as that product officially began shipping into the channel in the third quarter of 2012.


Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet Tracker, August 2, 2012.

IDC believed that the so called tablet war is expected to heat up in the second half of 2012. According to Bob O'Donnell, program vice president, Clients and Displays, in addition to major products from Amazon and Apple, new devices like Microsoft Windows 8 and Windows RT-based tablets will further intensify the competition in the tablet space later this year.

"If anything, there's a real risk that people will have too many options from which to choose this holiday season. Consumers baffled by the differences between Amazon and Google versions of Android, or Windows 8 and Windows RT, may well default to market leader Apple. Or they may simply choose to remain on the sideline for another cycle," said O'Donnell.