Beancounters at IDC said that shipments of tablets running Google Android will overtake the iPad this year for the first time, as Apple loses more mobile market share to cheaper machines.
IDC said that smaller and cheaper Android tablets from Google to Amazon.com will catch on this year.
While iPad and iPhone shipments are expected to keep growing, Samsung Electronics will do much better thanks to a combination of savvy marketing, greater variety and rapid technology adoption.
Tomorrow Samsung will release its fourth generation Galaxy which helped knock the iPhone off its top ranking for part of last year.
The IDC report is indicative of a growing perception that the Apple has lost its edge. The company shares have lost more than a third since September.
Jefferies analyst Peter Misek told Reuters that Apple was similar to Blackberry and that its iPhone is now on the defensive against Samsung.
Misek warned that when handset makers fall, they fall faster and further than expected. Now it seems that Apple will lose its ground in tablets too and he thinks things are starting to look very bleak.
Shipments are expected to account for 46 percent of the tablet market in 2013, down from 51 per cent last year, IDC said.
Devices running Android are expected to grow their market share to 49 per cent this year from 42 per cent last year.
Some of this was because Steve Jobs made a big mistake when he thought that smaller tablets were dead in the water and refused to make something less than nine inches across.
"One in every two tablets shipped this quarter was below 8 inches in screen size. And in terms of shipments, we expect smaller tablets to continue growing in 2013 and beyond," IDC said in a press release.
Suppliers who depended on Apple for more than half of their business saw its sales slump 31 per cent in February compared to January.
For Cirrus Logic, which gets three quarters of its revenue from selling audio chips to Apple, have fallen 23 per cent this year.
Only those like Qualcomm and Toshiba, who also did significant business with Android device manufacturers look like they are surviving.