During the third quarter of 2012, Apple's tablet market share decreased as consumers "sat out" in anticipation of the iPad Mini, with Android tablets benefiting as a result.
Analyst firm IDC said after a strong second quarter, Apple's shipment growth for iPad units showed signs of decrease in both consumer and commercial markets.
"We believe a sizeable percentage of consumers interested in buying an Apple tablet sat out the third quarter in anticipation of an announcement about the new iPad Mini," said IDC analyst Tom Mainelli.
During the second quarter, Apple's share slipped from 65.5 percent to 50.4 percent in the third quarter. In the same period in 2011, Apple's market share stood at 59.7 percent.
The other four firms ranked in the top five market leaders all gained share during the third quarter. Samsung shipped 5.1 million Android-powered tablets worldwide, representing an increase of 115 percent from the second quarter of 2012. When compared to the same period last year, that's an increase of 325 percent when the South Korean conglomerate shipped 1.2 million tablets.
Amazon, meanwhile, had its worldwide market share increase from 8 percent in the second quarter to 9.0 percent during the third quarter due to their Kindle Fire lineup.
As for Windows 8 and RT tablets, IDC stated: "Price points are critical in tablets, and Microsoft and its partners will have a tough time winning a share of consumer wallet with price points starting at $500".
Despite the strong performance showcased by Apple's tablet competitors, IDC expects the firm to deliver solid results during the fourth quarter. "Now that the new Mini and a fourth-generation full-sized iPad are both shipping we expect Apple to have a very good quarter."
When it announced the iPad Mini and iPad 4, both of which have together sold three million units in three days, Apple confirmed that iPad shipments has exceeded 100 million since it came into fruition back in 2010. Analysts expect the device to sell over 100 million units next year alone.
The worldwide tablet market grew by 49.5 percent year over year during the third quarter and 6.7 percent during the second quarter of 2012.