The worldwide media tablet market grew 45.1 percent in the third quarter of 2010, driven almost exclusively by global demand for the Apple iPad. Vendors shipped 4.8 million units globally in Q3 2010, compared to 3.3 million units in Q2 2010, according to IDC. "The media tablet market's rapid evolution will continue to accelerate in 4Q10 and beyond with new product and service introductions, channel expansion, price competition and experimentation with new use cases among consumers and enterprises," Susan Kevorkian, research director of Mobile Connected Devices, said in a statement.

Apple led the worldwide media tablet market in shipments, with nearly 4.2 million units shipped in Q3 2010. The iPad grabbed 87.4 percent media tablet market share worldwide.

IDC defines a media tablet as a device with color displays larger than 5 inches and smaller than 14 inches, running lightweight operating systems (such as Apple's iOS and Google's Android OS) and powered by either x86 or ARM processors. On the other hand, tablet PCs run full PC operating systems (Microsoft's Windows or Apple's Mac OS) and are based on x86 processors.

A previous report from two months ago said that the iPad had 95.5 percent of the market. Apple says it is not worried about the competition. In fact, Tim Cook, the company's COO, recently downplayed Windows and Android tablet options.