Since the inception of Apple iPad in 2010, the Cupertino based firm dominated the niche tablet business globally both in terms of device sales and operating system, now the company's iOS market share has been overtaken by the rival Android for the first time in history.

Thanks to the advent of cheaper Android tablets in to the market, the Google OS' world market share has reached 61.9 percent, a massive 127 percent year-to-year growth. (Last year, Android had 45.8 percent market share).

While rival Apple iOS share stood at 36 percent, down 16.8 percent compared to the last year (52.8-percent), there by losing the pole position to Android.

Another powerhouse Microsoft, who started late in the tablet race has managed to score the third position with 2.1 percent market share, up by a meager of 1.1 percent from the previous year.

"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," said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner.

 "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." She added.

Worldwide Tablet Sales to End Users by Operating System: 2013 (Units)

Operating system 2013 Sales Market Share 2012 Sales Market Share
Android 120,961,445 61.9% 53,341,250 45.8%
iOS 70,400,159 36.0% 61,465,632 52.8%
Microsoft 4,031,802 2.1% 1,162,435 1.0%
Others 41,598 Less than 0.1% 379,000 0.3%
Total 195,435,004 100.0% 116,348,317 100.0%

Though Apple iOS lost its market share, company's tablet device business has maintained a healthy growth in the sales in the fourth quarter (2013) helping the company to lead the chart with 36 percent market share.

Samsung placed second in the rankings and registered a staggering 336 percent record growth. Thanks to the improvements in the flagship Galaxy tablet portfolio. The South Korean company is closing in on the gap between the arch-rival and the reigning leader Apple.

Whereas Taiwanese based Asus, Kindle tablet maker Amazon and the Chinese PC company Lenovo finish the top five tablet makers list with 5.6 percent, 4.8 percent and 3.3 percent respectively.

Worldwide Tablet Sales to End Users by Vendor: 2013 (Units)

Vendor 2013 Sales Market Share 2012 Sales Market Share
Apple 70,400,159 36.0% 61,465,632 52.8%
Samsung 37,411,921 19.1% 8,583,146 7.4%
Asus 11,039,156 5.6% 6,262,371 5.4%
Amazon 9,401,846 4.8% 7,707,800 6.6%
Lenovo 6,525,762 3.3% 2,186,993 1.9%
Other 60,656,161 31.0% 30,142,374 25.8%
Total 195,435,004 100.0% 116,348,317 100.0%