iPad still number one, Samsung in second place, Microsoft MIA

IDC reports that tablet shipments set another record for the fourth quarter of 2012, with 52.5 million units sold worldwide. Apple’s way out in front with 43.6 percent of the market, but that’s actually down from 46.4 percent for the previous quarter, when Apple sold 14 million iPads, and down from 51.7 percent for the same quarter a year before.

Apple’s volume of iPads and iPad minis sold surged for the quarter with 22.9 million units. Samsung sold 7.9 million tablets during the same period, for 15.1 percent share. Amazon, Asus and Barnes & Noble trailed behind. Microsoft, with its vaunted Surface tablet, was nowhere to be found on the list.

IDC’s Ryan Reith noted that devices based on Windows 8 and Windows RT “failed to gain much ground during their launch quarter, and reaction to the company’s Surface with Windows RT tablet was muted at best.”

[Editor’s note: Readers are having trouble accessing the link. The IDC report seems to have been removed.]