Apple's iPad dominated the tablet market with 95% of sales in Q3, despite the influx of competitors, according to Strategy Analytics.
Apple shipped nearly 4.2 million of the estimated 4.4 million units sold in the quarter, the research firm said. Global tablet shipments grew 26% sequentially.
Second-placed Android achieved just a 2.3% share of the global tablet OS market, but is expected to increase in the current quarter.
The other tablet OS providers combined – namely Microsoft, RIM and Nokia – currently only equal Android's share.
While the US remained by far the world's largest tablet market during Q3, demand in Asia and western Europe is also beginning to swell.
“The tablet wars are up and running,” Strategy Analytics director Neil Mawston said. “Android, Microsoft, MeeGo, webOS, Blackberry and other platforms are trailing in Apple’s wake and they already have much ground to make up.”
Paul Carlton, vice president of research at ChangeWave, said Apple’s rivals face a tough time gaining market share because the iPad has “already set the bar so very high in terms of customer expectations.”
The iPad has taken a big slice out of the netbook market. US consumers' interest in netbooks has plummeted by ten percentage points in the past year, according to a ChangeWave survey.
The research firm found just 14% of consumers who plan to buy a laptop in the next 90 days will opt for the netbook form factor, compared to 26% that said they plan to buy a tablet.
Demand for the emerging form factor is driven by Apple’s iPad. The device scored highly in satisfaction ratings among current owners, while 80% of consumers planning to buy a tablet said they would pick the Apple unit.
Other tablets grabbing consumer attention are RIM’s PlayBook – desired by 8% - Samsung’s Galaxy Tab (3%), and HP’s Slate (2%).