Worldwide tablet sales reached 195.4 million units last year, creating a 68% increase from 2012. This report comes from Gartner, a research firm that specializes in information technology.

apple Inc. AAPL samsung

Apple and Samsung still in it to win it

Last year’s growth in tablet sales was fueled in part by first-time tablet buyers and low-end tablet buyers. This all helped boost Android and enable them to take 62% of market shares.

Gartner’s Robert Cozza explained, “In 2013, tablets became a mainstream phenomenon, with a vast choice of Android-based tablets being within the budget of mainstream consumers while still offering adequate specifications. As the Android tablet market becomes highly commoditized, in 2014, it will be critical for vendors to focus on device experience and meaningful technology and ecosystem value — beyond just hardware and cost — to ensure brand loyalty and improved margins.”

Numbers show successful sales

Even though sales for the Apple iPad grew during the fourth quarter, the company’s shares decreased to 36%. Thanks to the market demand for small budget-friendly tablets, shares for iOS also fell by 16.8 percentage points. The report showed an emerging market which favored lower-end tablets with a recorded growth of 145%. Mature markets only grew 31%.

Last year, tablet volumes for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) rose, yet overall consumer interest is still not there. Cozza added, “To compete, Microsoft needs to create a more compelling ecosystem story for consumers and developers of its tablets. Microsoft enjoys better shares in ultramobiles that are more productivity oriented, where its partners are ramping up new form factors and designs.”

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) still take the lead. It helps that Apple ended their last quarter on a positive note, which keeps them in the number one spot. Samsung, which occupies the second spot, showed the most growth out of all tablet vendors. It also helped when the South Korean tech giant expanded their portfolio to include a variety of Galaxy tablets.