Even with a decline in iPad sales Apple is still the king of the tablet market, according to market research firm IDC, which yesterday published its tablet shipments preliminary results for the first quarter of the year.

According to IDC's report, Apple's iPad shipments stood at 16.4 million, a drop of 16.1 percent compared to the same quarter the previous year. The Cupertino-based company lost its market share to Samsung, whose tablet shipments rose to 11.2 million from 8.5 million.

The South Korean company's tablet share last quarter was estimated at 22.3 percent, up from 17.5 percent in the same quarter last year.

Top five tablet vendors, shipments and market share - First quarter 2014 (Preliminary results, shipments in millions)

Vendor 1Q14 Unit shipments 1Q14 Market share 1Q13 Unit shipments 1Q13 Market share Year-on-year growth
Apple 16.4 32.5% 19.5 40.2% -16.1%
Samsung 11.2 22.3% 8.5 17.5% 32.0%
Asus 2.5 5.0% 2.6 5.4% -2.8%
Lenovo 2.1 4.1% 0.6 1.3% 224.3%
Amazon 1.0 1.9% 1.8 3.7% -47.1%
Others 17.2 34.2% 15.5 31.8% 11.5%
Total 50.4 100.0% 48.6 100.0% 3.9%

Among other vendors, Lenovo reported a huge surge in tablet market share. The Chinese company recorded a whopping growth rate of 224.3 percent in shipments, totaling 2.1 million units. Meanwhile, Asus saw its cut of the market inch down slightly to 5 percent from 5.4 percent, and Amazon's market share fell to 1.9 percent from 3.7 percent.

The tablet market as a whole reported a slow growth in the first quarter. Worldwide tablet shipments stood at 50.4 million, increasing by just 3.9 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago.

"Consumers are holding on to existing tablets and not upgrading, and large-screen phones - also called 'phablets' - are becoming more popular", said Tom Mainelli, IDC's vice president for devices and displays research.

IDC's tablet shipments estimates include both conventional tablets as well as '2-in-1′ tablets, that can be both tablets and laptops.