The 2013 holiday season proved to be quite lucrative for the world's top tablet makers as shipments collectively hit 76.9 million during the fourth quarter of last year. The total represents 62.4 percent growth over the third quarter and 28.2 percent growth compared to the same period a year ago according to the latest report from market research firm IDC.

Apple led the way with 26 million tablets shipped during the quarter, a significant increase from the 14.1 million units shipped in the third quarter and the 22.9 million from Q4 2012. Samsung finished in a distant second with 14.5 million units shipped and represented 18.8 percent of the quarterly market share.

Amazon, Asus and Lenovo round out the top five with 5.8 million, 3.9 million and 3.4 million slates shipped, respectively. All other manufacturers collectively accounted for 23.3 million units shipped last quarter, up from 19.5 million during the same period a year ago.

Worldwide tablet shipments totaled 217.1 million for the calendar year, up from the 144.2 million units moved during 2012. That's good for a year-over-year growth rate of 50.6 percent. But as IDC research director Tom Mainelli points out, it's becoming increasingly clear that markets such as the US are reaching high levels of consumer saturation.

At the same time, emerging markets continue to show strong growth. But as Mainelli notes, this has not been enough to sustain the dramatic worldwide growth rates seen in previous years.