Every time Apple speaks publicly about its iOS devices nowadays, the company hammers home the message that it judges itself by customer love and usage of those devices, not by market share. Probably a good thing, given the market-share stats for smartphones and tablets coming out of research firms like IDC. The company reports that Apple took a 29.6% share of global tablet shipments in the third quarter of this year with its 14.1m iPad sales – down from 40.2% in the same quarter in 2012. That’s because a familiar rival is growing fast: IDC reckons Samsung shipped 9.7m of its Android tablets in Q3 to secure a 20.4% market share, up from 12.4% this time last year. Strong growth (admittedly from a small base) for Asus, Lenovo and Acer shows how Android is growing as a tablet platform, with IDC reporting that shipments of all tablets – iPad, Android, Windows etc – grew by 36.7% year-on-year to 47.6m units in Q3.

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