New data on worldwide tablet shipments revealed by research firm IDC shows that Apple's share of the tablet market by the end of 2010 was just 73 percent, down 20 percent over just one quarter when it held a 93 percent share.
This is due to a flood of new tablets coming to market to directly compete with the iPad, which is highlighted by the fact that overall tablet sales doubled quarter-to-quarter.
The most impacting competitor to the Apple iPad was the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which managed to claim 17 percent of the market share. However, Samsung has admitted it will have difficulty matching the specs and price of the upcoming iPad 2. But Apple will soon have other tablets to compete with as several plan to launch this year, most notably Research in Motion's enterprise-savvy BlackBerry PlayBook.
In spite of this, though, IDC does still predict that Apple will retain at least 70 percent market share this quarter and possibly through the year, driven by the strength of the iPad 2. Overall, 50 million units are expected to ship this year, tremendous growth over last year.