APPLE’S share of the tablet market declined again in the fourth quarter of 2012 but the company still has twice the share of its nearest rival, Samsung.
Tablet shipments worldwide grew by more than expected in the final three months of last year, with more than 50 million units being shipped worldwide.
Apple's share fell from 46.4pc in the preceding quarter but it still had almost three times the share of Samsung, its nearest rival.
"New product launches from the category's top vendors, as well as new entrant Microsoft, led to a surge in consumer interest and very robust shipments totals during the holiday season," said Tom Mainelli, research director at IDC.
"The record-breaking quarter stands in stark contrast to the PC market, which saw shipments decline during the quarter for the first time in more than five years."
Overall the tablet market grew 75.3pc compared with the same quarter last year, driven by falling prices and a wider range of devices, IDC said.
As the tablet market grew, the PC market declined in the fourth quarter of 2012, with sales down 6.4pc compared with the same quarter in 2011.
This was the first time in five years that PC shipments had fallen.
"Tablets have dramatically changed the device landscape for PCs, not so much by 'cannibalizing' PC sales, but by causing PC users to shift consumption to tablets rather than replacing older PCs," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.