Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) still leads the tablet market, according to research firm IHS. During the third quarter, Apple shipped 14.25 million iPads. That number was a decrease from second quarter shipments of 14.62 million. The Cupertino-based tech giant’s market share rang in at 33.5%.

Apple iPad

Apple introduced two new iPads

IHS attributed the low shipments as a shift in the launch cycle for the iPad. Last year, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) introduced two new iPads, the first in the spring and the second in the fall. A year went by between iPad releases. IHS explained in their report, “The lack of a second-quarter product release and anticipation of a fourth-quarter product update resulted in tepid year over year sales in the third quarter.”

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) ended the third quarter with 10.7 million tablet shipments. They also ended with a market share of 22.2%. These numbers were up from the second quarter, when the South Korean tech giant shipped 8.6 million tablets and had 20% of the market. It’s indisputable that Samsung is growing in the tablet market.

Rhoda Alexander, tablet research director for IHS, explained in a statement, “The erosion in Apple’s unit shipment market share was inevitable. Cheaper almost always wins the volume race, and competitors were quick to adjust pricing when it became clear that it was impossible to achieve anything close to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s unit growth at the same price level.”

Apple’s iPad still reigns supreme

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPad still reigns supreme, even with a decline in market shares. Although Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Android are using price cuts as a key marketing tool, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was still able to increase their revenue per tablet in the third quarter by $3.00. It’s Apple’s hardware and premium design that helps boost the company’s profits. Not surprisingly, Apple also has more tablets in the hands of consumers with a total of 170 million tablets. That’s a significant number compared to Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930)’s total which is 54 million tablets.