Worldwide tablet shipments fell by 28% in the first quarter of 2011 to 7.2 million units, according to analyst firm IDC.
IDC said that the tablet market is ‘not quite as strong as recent media hype suggests’, after suffering from Q1 seasonal trends usually associated with more mature formats.
Android accounted for 34% of the tablets sold in Q1. IDC said that although it had expected Android tablets to start challenging the iPad's dominance of the market, there had not yet been a significant shift to devices running Google's OS. Apple's flagship product retains its market-leading position, partly due to the speedy introduction of the iPad 2 upgrade.
IDC said that despite this, Apple's shipments in Q1 were well below expectations because of supply chain issues.
Meanwhile, mobile manufacturers such as Samsung and Motorola, have had moderate success, according to IDC, but have been hit by consumer reluctance to sign up for contracts.
However, IDC has raised its shipments forecast for the full year to 53.5 million units, up from 50.4 million.
Bob O'Donnell, VP of client and display research said: 'Like the PC market, media tablets had a bit of a challenging quarter in Q1, as concerns about general macroeconomic issues and the post-holiday letdown took a toll on demand. We expect the rest of the year to be much stronger, but we believe vendors who continue to focus on the telco channel for distribution will face serious challenges.'