Samsung (IW 1000/12) jumped ahead of Amazon to second place overall while Lenovo vaulted into the number four spot, followed by Barnes & Noble's Nook at number five.

Although total Android shipments were down sharply in the quarter, IDC said it sees a rebound with companies such as Samsung and Lenovo beginning to gain traction with new products.

"It seems some of the mainstream Android vendors are finally beginning to grasp a fact that Amazon, B&N, and Pandigital figured out early on: Namely, to compete in the media tablet market with Apple, they must offer their products at notably lower price points," Mainelli said.

"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."

The impact of Microsoft (IW 500/16) Windows 8- and Windows RT-based tablets, which are widely expected to ship into the market by the fourth quarter, is not yet clear, IDC said.

"The worldwide tablet market is entering a new phase in the second half of 2012 that will undoubtedly reshape the competitive landscape," said IDC's Bob O'Donnell.

"While Apple will continue to sit comfortably on the top for now, the battle for the next several positions is going to be fierce. Throw in Ultrabooks, the launch of Windows 8, and a few surprise product launches, and you have all the makings of an incredible 2012 holiday shopping season."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012