Apple's iPad is continuing to dominate the tablet market in EMEA, according to IDC.

Overall sales of tablets in the region reached 4.4 million in the second quarter of 2011, ahead of IDC's forecast of 3.7 million and up 82 percent on the first quarter. Compared to Q2 2010, tablet sales were up 394 percent.

Demand in the second quarter of 2011 was driven largely by Apple's iPad 2, though new Android-based models contributed to the market's momentum, IDC said. In all, 2011 is on course to be a strong year for tablet sales, the market research firm concluded.

"IDC expects the EMEA media tablet market to continue to enjoy robust expansion, with shipments forecast to reach close to 22 million units, representing €9.1 billion in value in 2011," said Eszter Morvay, research manager for IDC's Personal Computing Group.

"The second half of the year will see a further expansion of product availability, which will lead to accelerating competition and more aggressive price points. The Christmas season in particular is expected to be very buoyant with vendors positioning their products as the perfect Christmas gift."

Apple is reckoned to have shipped 2.9 million iPads in EMEA in Q2 2011, compared to just over 800,000 in Q2 2010, representing growth of 249 percent.

However, Apple's share of the tablet market has slipped to 66.6 percent from 94.3 percent over the same period, according to IDC's figures.

Samsung is Apple's nearest competitor in the EMEA tablet market, with a 7 percent share, Acer takes 6.1 percent of the market, Asus 3.3 percent, Archos 2.4 percent and RIM 2.1 percent, with others making up 12.4 percent.

IDC said that the introduction of Windows 8 was likely to change the dynamic of the tablet market in 2012.

"With a completely redesigned user interface based on the Metro design language developed for Windows Phone 7, the new Windows 8 operating systems will likely be able to make a strong impact not just in the commercial segment but in the consumer segment as well, further intensifying the OS battle," IDC said.