Steep drop in shipments of Android-based tablets caused the media tablet market to miss projections for the first quarter of 2012 (1Q12), according to IDC. Apple bucked the trend, however, and grew its worldwide share of the tablet market to 68 per cent.

Apple celebrated a strong quarter with 11.8 million iPads shipped. This was down from 15.4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011, but the company grew its worldwide share from 54.7 per cent in 4Q11 to 68 per cent in 1Q12.

Total worldwide media tablet shipments for the quarter reached 17.4 million units in 1Q12, 1.2 million units below IDC's projection for the quarter. IDC predicted a sharp seasonal slowdown of -34% from the previous quarter’s record-breaking 28.2 million units, the actual decline was slightly steeper at -38.4%.

Still good year-over-year growth rate of 120%, up from 7.9 million units in the first quarter of 2011.

Samsung was in second place. Amazon was in third place. Lenovo fourth, followed by Barnes & Noble at number five, according to the IDC research.

IDC research director Mobile Connected Devices Tom Mainelli said: "Apple reasserted its dominance in the market this quarter, driving huge shipment totals at a time when all but a few Android vendors saw their numbers drop precipitously after posting big gains during the holiday buying season.”

"Apple's move to position the iPad as an all-purpose tablet, instead of just a content consumption device, is resonating with consumers as well as educational and commercial buyers. And its decision to keep a lower-priced iPad 2 in the market after it launched the new iPad in March seems to be paying off as well," he added.

Mainelli said: "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."

IDC expects the segment to rebound quickly as other vendors introduce new products in the second quarter and beyond.