ABI Research says that tablet shipments reached 18.2 million units in Q1 of 2012, a figure which represented a massive 185% year-on-year increase over Q1 of 2011, but a fall of 33% from the holiday-fuelled sales of Q4.
According to the report, Apple took its now customary number one spot with 11.8 million shipments, and now accounts for almost two in three tablets on the market. ABI Research put this strong showing down to the release of the new iPad and a price reduction for the iPad 2.
Falling behind Apple, Samsung returned to the number two spot, with Amazon sliding to third place on the back of indifferent Kindle Fire sales, while Taiwanese vendor Asus remained flat on a quarter-on-quarter basis.
Further down the pecking order and there was some surprisingly good news for both RIM and Lenovo, which grew 233% and 107%, respectively on a year-on-year basis. RIM's rise could be put down to significant PlayBook discounts, while Lenovo was reported to have experienced some strong sales at home in China.
As well as tackling outright tablet shipments, ABI Research also looked at how many of these tablets are utilizing 3G or 4G internet connectivity.
As to be expected, the report found that most consumers still prefer WiFi-only tablets, although Apple appears to be king in this area too – shipping the most 3G-enabled tablets, and outpacing its nearest rival by a factor of eight.