Sales of tablets bucked a three year growth trend by declining 28 per cent during the first half of 2014. The sales downturn was revealed by research firm Telsyte, which also noted Android tablets outsold Apple's iPad for the first time.

Telsyte's Australian media tablet market study claims the slowdown in upgrades is the result of ongoing software support for Apple and Android tablets.

The most popular tablet remains Apple's iPad 2, which despite being released in May of 2011, will be compatible with Apple's latest operating system, iOS 8.

Android fractionally outsold the iPad for the first time by capturing 47 percent of the overall tablet market. Apple accounted for 46 percent, while Windows-based devices made up 7 percent.

The majority of Android tablets sold were low-end models. "Android only captured a third of the market in terms of dollar value", estimates Telsyte.

Apple is not expected to linger behind Android for long with the impending launch of a new iPhone expected to spur sales in the second half of 2014.

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"Apple should have a strong second half if it can bring upgraded models to market and benefit from a halo effect created by the iPhone 6 launch" said Foad Fadaghi, the managing director of research firm Telsyte. "More than half of iPhone users already have an iPad, whether consumers upgrade both this year will be the question many will be asking," added Fadaghi.

Retailer JB HiFi revealed it had been impacted by a slowdown in tablet sales. Detailed in the retailer's FY2014 report are notes that tablet "sales were down on last year".

"The sales results in July 2014 was impacted by recent market-wide declines in tablet sales," it said in the company's yearly earnings report.

Tablet sales are expected to rise from 1.8 million to 2.1 million in the second half of 2014. The rise in sales will be influenced by a strong smartphone purchasing cycle, based on Telsyte's research.

Telsyte estimates 10.8 million Australians own a tablet by the end of June 2014, which accounts for 46 percent of the population.

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