4.5 million tablets ship in Q3 2010

According to ABI Research’s “Netbooks, MIDs, Media Tablets, and Mobile CE Market Data,” media tablets are what the company calls the “promising new talent” among devices, with 4.5 million devices shipping in the third quarter of 2010. Approximately 93 percent of those tablets were Apple iPads. The Android-based Samsung Galaxy Tab, which has also showed strong numbers, debuted in Q4 of 2010. Android-based devices are already eroding the dominance of iOS-based mobile devices

The ABI Research report further noted that eBook vendors continue to do well, with vendors Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Sony maintaining their top positions in the United States. All the vendors introduced lower MSRPs, while Amazon unveiled its third-generation Kindle and Barnes & Noble introduced a color version of its Nook reader.

Netbook sales were slow in the first half of 2010, with few products introduced. The third quarter saw a bump when PC OEMs introduced new netbooks with dual-core processors and lighter, thinner form factors.