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iPad takes lowest tablet market share since launch as Samsung surges

Apple's share of the tablet market has fallen to just 30 per cent, the lowest since the launch of the iPad in 2010.

This has meant that the firm's fierce mobile rival Samsung has been able to catch up, whilst smaller firms such as Asus and Lenovo have also eroded Apple's dominance.

The iPad's global market share of tablets is down 10 per cent year on year, falling from 40.2 per cent to 29.6 per cent, whilst Samsung has experienced a massive surge from 12.4 per cent to 20.4 per cent, new data from research firm IDC shows.

The long wait for an iPad update has been partially blamed for the stumble, IDC has said.

Worldwide tablet shipments grew to 47.6 million units in the third quarter of 2013, the data shows. 14.1 million iPad's were sold, whilst Samsung, hot on Apple's tale sold 9.7 million devices. That compares to just 4.3 million Samsung tablet shipments in Q3 2012.

However, despite Apple's market share eroding, iPad shipments did infact moderately grow from 14 million in Q3 2012.

Furthermore, with the new iPad Air shipping from the start of November, and the refreshed iPad mini with Retina scheduled to roll out later in the month, IDC expects Apple to enjoy robust shipment growth during the fourth quarter.

"With two 7.9-inch models starting at $299 (£249) and $399 (£319), and two 9.7-inch models starting at $399 (£329) and $499 (£399), Apple is taking steps to appeal to multiple segments," said Jitesh Ubrani, Research Analyst with IDC's Tablet Tracker.

"While some undoubtedly hoped for more aggressive pricing from Apple, the current prices clearly reflect Apple's ongoing strategy to maintain its premium status."

Asus meanwhile sold 3.5 million devices in Q3 2013, taking a 7.4 per cent market share, up from 6.6 per cent in 2012, whilst Lenovo shipped 2.3 million devices, up from 400,000 in the same period last year to take a 4.8 per cent share.