Strong sales in the United States helped boost the global market for tablet computers in the third quarter, tracker IDC said Thursday.
IDC said tablet sales rose 11.5 percent year-over-year to 53.8 million units. Much of that came from the US market, which saw 18.5 percent growth, helped by back-to-school sales.
“Not only is the US market one of the largest for tablets, but third quarter results also indicate that this is where the growth is,” said IDC analyst Jean Philippe Bouchard.
Bouchard said the US saw growth led by carriers such as Verizon, and low-cost devices including the RCA brand, which broke into the top five.
Apple remained the largest single vendor despite a drop in iPad sales from a year ago, shipping 12.3 million units in the third quarter for a 22.8 percent market share, IDC said.
Samsung held its number two position on the market with 9.9 million units shipped, capturing 18.3 percent of the market.
In third place was Taiwan-based Asus at 6.5 percent, followed by China’s Lenovo at 5.7 percent. RCA-brand tablets were fifth with a 4.9 percent share, while 41.8 percent came from other vendors.
“Although the low-cost vendors are moving a lot of volume, the top vendors, like Apple, continue to rake in the dollars,” said IDC’s Jitesh Ubrani.
“A sub-$100 tablet simply isn’t sustainable — Apple knows this — and it’s likely the reason they aren’t concerned with market share erosion.”
The tablet market, which grew at a dizzying pace in 2013, is now seen as cooling because consumers are keeping their devices longer and turning in some cases to new “ultramobile” PCs.
A Gartner report earlier this month predicted 2014 worldwide tablet sales of 229 million, up 11 percent from last year, when the market grew 55 percent.