With consumers still waiting on a new iPad from Apple, global shipments of tablet devices have slowed during the second quarter of 2013.
However, those 45.1 million units represent a 59% upturn in tablet shipments year-on-year, with the IDC reporting in the second quarter of 2012 that only 28.3 million devices had shipped.
Without a new iPad launch in the first half of the year, Apple saw its shipments drop 25% quarter-on-quarter, down to 14.6 million units compared to 19.5 million in the first three months of the year. Yet despite the large drop it reamins the world's top tablet manufacturer by some distance.
Historically, Apple has launched a new iteration of the iPad just ahead of the second quarter, prompting consistent year-over-year growth. However, the company only launched the latest of its tablet series, the iPad 4, in September of last year and is now expected to launch the next version later in the year in order to stay competitive during the Christmas period.
Apple's closest competitor Samsung also saw its shipments fall during the second quarter, down from 8.6 million in the first three months of the year to 8.1 million in the three months to the end of June. Shipments of Asus devices fell as well, with the company shipping 2 million devices in the latest quarter compared to 2.6 million in the previous quarter.
Tom Mainelli, tablets research director at IDC, said the lack of a new Apple product was affecting the market overall:
"A new iPad launch always piques consumer interest in the tablet category and traditionally that has helped both Apple and its competitors. With no new iPads, the market slowed for many vendors, and that's likely to continue into the third quarter. However, by the fourth quarter we expect new products from Apple, Amazon, and others to drive impressive growth in the market."
The second quarter also saw a reshuffle in the IDC chart of top five vendors. Whereas in the first quarter of 2013 Amazon and Microsoft had claimed fourth and fifth place respectively, in the second quarter they were replaced by Lenovo and Acer, which both showed growth in tablet shipments.
IDC reported that for the first time ever, Lenovo shipped over a million tablets during a single quarter, with global shipments of its devices totalling 1.5 million. That marked an enormous 313% increase year-over-year, after Lenovo shipped around 400,000 devices in the second quarter of 2012.
Acer also saw enormous year-over-year growth. The 1.4 million tablets it shipped in this year's second quarter showed a 247% increase on the 400,000 it shipped a year earlier.
"The tablet market is still evolving and vendors can rise and fall quickly as a result," said Ryan Reith, program manager at IDC. "Apple aside, the remaining vendors are still very much figuring out which platform strategy will be successful over the long run."
Android remained the most popular operating system on tablet devices, followed by iOS. Shipments of Windows-based devices saw a small increase, up to 1.8 million from 1.6 million in the first quarter.