Reuters A man tries out a Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Gear smartwatch at the company's headquarters in Seoul on 24 October, 2013 (Reuters).
Despite the impressive sales that Apple had of its iPhone 5S and the iPad Air and the boost in its stock value, rival Samsung continues to chip away the Cupertino-based tech giant's leadership in devices sales.
The latest report from market researcher Strategy Analytics, released on Tuesday, said that the South Korean giant had the largest share in three of six major global tablet markets in 2013.
Apple used to lead all six markets until 2012. Apple then was ahead of Samsung by 7 to 13 percentage points in three regions.
But in 2013, Samsung became dominant in the Latin American market with a 23 per cent share, Eastern and Central Europe with 25 per cent share and Middle East and Africa with 18.3 per cent share.
So far, Apple continues to be the market leader in North America, Western Europe and Asia-Pacific for tablet sales due to the popularity of the iPad.
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However, in the smartphone market, Samsung is now the global leader.
Another report from the International Data Corporation Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker said the global tablet market will continue to grow in 2014 but at a slower pace.
In 2013, tablet shipments expanded to 76.9 million units in Q4, translating into a 62.4 per cent growth compared to the previous quarter and 28.2 per cent growth compared to 12 months ago.
For the whole of 2013, there were 217.1 million units of tablets shipped, up from 144.2 million in 2012 or a 50.6 per cent increase.
Tom Mainelli, research director of tablets at IDC, said, quoted by Mobilemarketingwatch.com, "It's becoming increasingly clear that markets such as the U.S. are reaching high levels of consumer saturation and while emerging markets continue to show strong growth this has not been enough to sustain the dramatic worldwide growth of years past."
He added, "We expect commercial purchases of tablets to continue to accelerate in mature markets, but softness in the consumer segment - brought about by high penetration rates and increased competition for the consumer dollar - point to a more challenging environment for tablets in 2014 and beyond."