Apple, Samsung continue tablet dominance

Both consumer electronics giants show staying power to drive tablet shipments to 18.2 million in first quarter of 2012 even as rivals "ebb and flow", research shows.

Tablet shipments reached 18.2 million devices in the first quarter of 2012, spurred on by the launch of Apple's third-generation iPad and popularity of Samsung's devices, a report states.

According to ABI Research, which released its findings on Monday, the media tablet market grew 185 percent year-on-year, but notched a 33 percent drop from the previous quarter, to hit 18.2 million device shipments.

Among the top two vendors were Apple and Samsung, which showed staying power in the midst of strong competition from other vendors. The former's 11.8 million iPad shipments were driven by its latest iPad launched earlier in March and its subsequent price reduction on iPad 2 models. Samsung, meanwhile, clocked in 1.1 million shipments to return to second spot after Amazon's Kindle Fire failed to garner sustained interest from the end of 2011.

Jeff Orr, group director of consumer research at ABI Research, said: "A pattern similar to smartphones is also occurring in tablets. Apple and Samsung have demonstrated staying power while other tablet vendors ebb and flow like the tide."

The research note also pointed out that several vendors including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and LG Electronics are currently "retooling" their tablet portfolios for mid-year launches of Android 4.0-based devices, as well as Windows 8 ones later this year.

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