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(Pocket-lint) - We know that Apple sold a lot of iPads in the first quarter but according to IDC, an analyst firm in America, it means that Apple grew its worldwide share from 54.7 per cent in 4Q11 to 68 per cent in 1Q12 beating off competitors like Samsung, Asus, and BlackBerry.  

"Total worldwide media tablet shipments for the quarter reached 17.4 million units in 1Q12," says the firm tracking these things.


Apple shipped 11.8 million iPads during the quarter, down from 15.4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011, growing its worldwide share from 54.7 per cent in 4Q11 to 68 per cent in 1Q12.

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Interestingly Amazon, which stormed into the market in 4Q11 with the Kindle Fire, saw its share drop from 16.8 per cent to just over 4 per cent, falling to third place as a result.

According to IDC, that allowed Samsung to take advantage of Amazon's weakness to regain the number two position while Lenovo vaulted into the number four spot, followed by Barnes & Noble at number five.

Surprisingly Asus with the launch of the Transformer Prime doesn't feature at all in IDCs top performers - we've emailed them to clarify.

"We expect a new, larger-screened device from Amazon at a typically aggressive price point, and Google will enter the market with an inexpensive, co-branded ASUS tablet designed to compete directly on price with Amazon's Kindle Fire," says Tom Mainelli, research director, Mobile Connected Devices at IDC, on the news of the latest market breakdown.

"The search giant's new tablet will run a pure version of Android, whereas the Fire runs Amazon's own forked version of the OS that cuts Google out of the picture,"

The iPad's success is likely to continue with no major Android tablet launches on the horizon likely to change the company's dominance. In fact that challenge won't come until around October with the launch of Windows 8 and in particular Windows 8 RT the tablet version of the operating system.

At that point you can expect the market to be flooded with plenty of alternatives from the likes of Nokia, Dell, HP, and we suspect many more.

Writing by Stuart Miles.