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Samsung fast catching up with Apple in tablets: data

South Korea's tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. is quickly catching up with Apple Inc. in the tablet PC market, data showed Tuesday, taking over markets previously dominated by its U.S. rival.

The world's No. 1 smartphone maker emerged as the largest seller of tablet PCs in three regions in 2013 -- Latin America, Central-Eastern Europe and Africa-Middle East -- by taking up 22.8 percent, 25 percent and 18.3 percent of the markets, respectively, Strategy Analytics said.

Apple, which held a comparable figure of 22.3 percent, 22.5 percent and 17.7 percent, instead won in North America, West Europe and Asia-Pacific. Apple had posted the largest market shares in all regions in 2012.

In earlier data, the market researcher said Apple took up 32.7 percent of the global tablet PC market last year by shipping 74.2 million units of the iPad, marking a 5.7 percentage point drop from 2012.

Samsung Electronics, in contrast, saw its market share grow nearly two-fold to 18.3 percent by selling 41.7 million units over the cited period.

Market watchers attribute Apple's falling presence to its once-per-year tablet refresh strategy while rivals are constantly pumping out new products that are attracting previous Apple users.

Strategy Analytics said Samsung is expected to ship 14.6 million units of its tablet PCs in the first quarter of 2014 to take up 23.3 percent of the global market, further narrowing its gap with Apple, which is estimated to post a market share of 33.2 percent. (Yonhap News)