SAN FRANCISCO: Global shipments of tablets rose 142% year on year in the first quarter of 2013, while those of PCs were down 14% in the same period, as consumers increasingly choose the portable option, new data has revealed.

Statistics from IDC, the research company, show that a total of 49.2m tablets and 76.3m PCs were shipped.

Within the tablet market some significant shifts have taken place, as the Apple-Samsung rivalry for the top spot continues to evolve.

Apple's year-on-year growth of 65.3% for tablet shipments was dwarfed by Samsung's 282.6% increase.

Despite this, Apple remained the market leader with a 39.6% share in Q1 2013, more than double that of Samsung, which stood at 17.9%. But this was a sharp decline from the 58.1% share it had claimed a year earlier.

In addition, Apple is under pressure from devices based on Google's Android operating system which now account for 56.5% of tablet shipments, up from 39.4% a year ago and overtaking Apple's iOS devices.

One of these was the highly marketed Nexus 7 device which helped ASUS take the third spot, increasing shipments by 350% to a total of 2.7m and gaining a 5.5% share.

Amazon was in fourth place shipping an estimated 1.8m Kindles, followed by Microsoft which gained a 1.8% share, with 0.9m Surface Pro and Surface RT tablets shipped.

Beyond the Surface products, Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets struggled to gain traction as total combined Windows 8 and Windows RT shipments across all vendors reached 1.8 million units.

Ryan Reith, IDC's Mobility Tracker program manager, noted rumours about smaller screen Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets.

"Clearly the market is moving toward smart 7-8 inch devices," he said, "but Microsoft's larger challenges centre around consumer messaging and lower cost competition."

"If these challenges are addressed, along with the desired screen size variations, then we could see Microsoft make even further headway in 2013 and beyond," he concluded.

Data sourced from IDC; additional content by Warc staff