The tablet market is still growing, but at a much slower rate. Q1 2014 saw 50.4 million units ship worldwide, up from 48.6 million the same quarter last year. Apple’s iPad once again took first place, although it dropped to 32.5 percent market share, while Samsung maintained second place by growing its share to 22.3 percent. Asus held steady in third place at 5 percent share, followed by Lenovo seeing big gains to 4.1 percent and Amazon falling to 1.9 percent.

The latest estimates come from IDC, which says the tablet market grew just 3.9 percent year-over-year. In short, the iPad’s loss was more or less equivalent to the gain for Android tablets (IDC briefly mentioned Windows tablets to say their share remains small but they are gaining traction):

idc q1 2014 tablets IDC: Apples iPad fell to 32.5% tablet share in Q1 2014, Samsung took second with 22.3%, Asus third with 5%

Apple’s share losses are due to continued success from competitors both large and small, causing it to “only” ship 16.4 million tablets in the quarter. The company does far better with tablets during the holiday quarter, the last one being its most successful on record.

On the Android side, Samsung once again secured silver with shipments of about 11.2 million units, growing by more than 5 percentage points. Asus shipped 2.5 million units during the quarter, Lenovo shipped 2.1 million units, and Amazon rounded out the top five with 1 million units.

While these figures are based on preliminary data, it’s worth noting that the slowing growth we saw at the end of 2013 continues into this year. In other words, it looks like the tablet market is starting to mature.

“The rise of large-screen phones and consumers who are holding on to their existing tablets for ever longer periods of time were both contributing factors to a weaker-than-anticipated quarter for tablets and 2-in-1s,” IDC Research Director Tom Mainelli said in a statement. “In addition, commercial growth has not been robust enough to offset the slowing of consumer shipments.”

Companies will have to get even more vicious to win over consumers this year. As we’ve noted before, the push for cheaper and cheaper devices with more and more features will likely push some players out of the game.

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