Apple and Samsung combined for 62% of the nearly 36 million branded tablets in the third quarter of 2014, according to early vendor shipment share estimates from ABI Research. Volume of branded tablet shipments beyond the top 15 vendors has increased 124% year-over-year, much at the expense of the two leading suppliers. Apple is expected to regain unit share in the fourth quarter because its next-generation iPad Air and iPad Mini models began shipping in October.

“The pieces have been set for the end-of-year holiday 2014 tablet market chess match,” said Jeff Orr, senior practice director. “The advanced mature markets will once again be where the Apple vs. Samsung duel occurs, while eyes are on Lenovo in the developing markets. But don’t overlook the rest of branded tablet vendors’ ability to deliver value-based devices during this critical shopping period.”

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