The big picture: Like many tech products and services, tablet sales have skyrocketed throughout the pandemic. As always, Apple remains the pack leader, having shipped more slates than second-place Samsung and third-place Lenovo combined.

According to analyst firm IDC, Apple shipped 12.9 million tablets in the second quarter of 2021, up 3.5% year-over-year. That lines up with CEO Tim Cook's recent announcement that the iPad just experienced its most successful quarter in a decade.

Apple now has a 31.9% share of the tablet market. Second-place Samsung, meanwhile, managed 8 million shipments with a 19.6% share. The Korean giant saw its YoY growth jump 13.3%, but the biggest gains belong to third-place Lenovo. Its 4.7 million shipments mark a massive 64.5% YoY increase.

Thanks to its line of budget tablets that includes our favorite low-cost offering---the Fire HD 10---Amazon also had a good quarter. Its 4.3 million shipments represent a 20.3% YoY jump.

The only top-five company to see a decline was Huawei, which fell to 2.1 million tablet shipments. That's down -53.7% compared to the same period a year earlier, a result of US sanctions that remain in place against the Chinese firm.

Overall, global tablet shipments for 2Q21 were up 4.2% to 40.5 million, while Chromebook shipments, led by HP, were up 68.6% to 12.3 million. But IDC warns that slowing demand combined with the chip shortage means a possible slowdown in sales for both categories.

In other tablet news, we recently saw details of HMD Global's Nokia T20, a budget slate that could challenge Amazon's and Samsung's cheaper offerings. Elsewhere, the iPad Mini looks set to receive its biggest ever redesign this fall.