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Global tablet shipments slow; lack of new iPad blamed

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Global tablet sales slowed during the second quarter, and Apple's decision not to release a new iPad may be the reason why.

After 49.2 million tablets were shipped during this year's first quarter, only 45.1 million were shipped during the second quarter, a period Apple has typically used to launch new iPad models.

Last year, Apple decided to launch a new iPad closer to the holiday shopping season, and it seems the company plans to do the same this year. That switch-up, however, caused the entire industry's tablet shipments to fall nearly 10% from the first to the second quarter of 2013, according to the International Data Corp.

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"A new iPad launch always piques consumer interest in the tablet category and traditionally that has helped both Apple and its competitors," said Tom Mainelli, IDC's tablets research director, in a statement. "With no new iPads, the market slowed for many vendors, and that's likely to continue into the third quarter."

Apple, Samsung and Asus, the top three tablet sellers, each saw their shipments fall from one quarter to the next. Apple fell from 19.5 million to 14.6 million, Samsung from 8.8 million to 8.1 million, and Asus from 2.7 to 2 million.

But it wasn't all bad. Compared with last year, shipments are rising.

IDC said shipments were up nearly 60% from last year's 28.3 million in the second quarter. But Apple's 14.6 million in iPad sales were down more than 14% compared to the same period last year, when it shipped 17 million iPads.

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