Worldwide tablet shipments surge 142.4% in Q1 2013 with almost 50 million (49.2m) shipped with "no sign of slowing down," said analysts IDC this week.
Growth fuelled by mass demand for smaller screen like iPad Mini, Samsung Tab 7, Google Nexus 7.
iPad and Samsung Tabs were the big winners in the tab race, and out ran analyst projections.
Apple still tablet king with 19.5 million iPad and Minis shipped in Q1 or around 40% of the market, while Samsung is fast catching up with its arch rival.
Its Galaxy tablet line grew a whopping 282%, similar to last quarters massive growth. Samsung with its slew of Galaxy Tabs and Note I, II mostly on Android captured 18% of the market, as smaller-sized models gain traction.
"By moving the iPad launch to the fourth quarter of 2012, Apple seems to have avoided the typical first-quarter slowdown that traditionally occurred when consumers held off buying in January and February in anticipation of a new product launch in March," said Tom Mainelli, Research Director, Tablets at IDC.
Samsung used its recent Android smartphone growth on devices such as Galaxy S III to push its tablet product line into new markets and channels, leveraging the opportunity to package and bundle, notes IDC.
So like in the smartphone race, the tablet market too is a 'two horse race', as Apple and Samsung dominating with almost 60% between them.
Google Android OS for tabs was also a winner in Q1- up 247.5% compared to Q1 '12 with Apple iOS taking second place.
56% of all tablets shipped were Android - or 28 million - while Apple accounted for almost 40%.
ASUS managed to move into the number 3 vendor spot on demand for Nexus 7, made in conjunction with Google - up 350.0% - although still accounts for under 3% of the market.
Amazon although fell from No. 3 spot also managed to make it into the top 5 as did Microsoft with its 10" Surface tablets.
Microsoft is actively widening its regional distribution of Surface RT and Surface Pro, shipping 900,000 units in all last quarter.
But it has failed to make major traction as Windows 8 platform continued to struggle to gain traction, warned IDC.
"Recent rumours have circulated about the possibility of smaller screen Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets hitting the market," said Ryan Reith, IDC.
"However, the notion that this will be the saving grace is flawed."
"Clearly the market is moving toward smart 7-8 inch devices, but Microsoft's larger challenges center around consumer messaging and lower cost competition."
However, if the windows maker can surmount these challenges, along with the desired screen size variations, "we could see Microsoft make even further headway in 2013 and beyond," Reith believes.