Tablet sales double in first quarter

More tablets were sold between January and March than in the entire first half of 2012, as Android devices overtook Apple iPad.

Tablet sales have more than doubled in 2013, growing by over 140% since January.

The latest Tablet Tracker survey, compiled by technology market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC) suggests more tablets were sold between January and March than in the entire first half of last year.

Apple iPad remains the leading tablet brand - with a 39% market share - followed by Samsung, which has almost tripled its sales in the past year.

Microsoft's tablet Surface, which launched last October, has a share of less than 2%.

"Recent rumours have circulated about the possibility of smaller screen Windows tablets hitting the market. However, the notion that this will be the saving grace is flawed," said Ryan Reither, IDC's programme manager.

While Apple remains the dominant force, a recent YouGov poll indicated that rival devices based on Google's Android platform are now seen as 'premium' alternatives to the Apple iPad.

It found 63% of tablet owners in the UK had an iPad, making it by far the most popular gadget of its kind. However, in a similar study conducted a year earlier, iPad ownership was proportionally much higher at 73%.

According to the IDC survey, Android tablets from all manufacturers have a combined market share of 56% - up from 39% at the start of last year.

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