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IDC said that 10.1 million media tablets were shipped in the fourth quarter and to no one’s surprise Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and its iPad dominated. However, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab walked away with 17 percent market share.

What remains to be seen is how the availability of the iPad 2 on Friday changes the equation in the first and second quarters. Also: Apple’s iPad 2 launch: Here comes the obsession over long lines

IDC also delivered its e-reader scorecard and Amazon’s Kindle dominated. More than 6 million e-readers shipped in the fourth quarter.

According to IDC’s statement:

  • Apple’s tablet share fell from 93 percent in the third quarter to 73 percent in the fourth.
  • Samsung’s Galaxy Tab had 17 percent share in the fourth quarter, but isn’t expected to keep it for long. Samsung is prepping a larger Galaxy Tab based on Android 3.0 Honeycomb.
  • Almost 18 million tablets shipped in 2010.
  • The e-reader category is much more competitive with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) as well as Pandigital, Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS), Sony (NYSE:SNE) and others showing gains. Amazon holds 48 percent market share in e-readers followed by Pandigital at No. 2 and Barnes & Noble.
  • There were 12.8 million e-readers shipped in 2010.
  • IDC is projecting 50 million tablets will ship in 2011.
  • Apple is expected to maintain a 70 percent to 80 percent market share in tablets.

IDC’s scorecard comes at an interesting time. Apple is about to launch its iPad 2 and a bevy of Android devices such as Motorola’s Xoom are hitting the market. Early reviews of the Xoom indicate that the device is notable, but flawed by frequent software crashes. Android tablets are likely to improve as the year progresses.

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