Apple and Samsung's grip on the tablet market is being loosened by a tranche of smaller vendors entering the space, according to IDC.
In 2013's second quarter, the tech-giant duo took the majority - 51.8 per cent - of the tablet market between them, but for the quarter just gone, that figure slipped to just 44.1 per cent.
In comparison, vendors in the "others" category, which is made up of all those outside of the top five, took more market share than Apple and Samsung combined - 44.4 per cent - compared with just 37 per cent last year.
The share gobble was down to a 33.4 per cent boost in shipments - a growth figure which dwarfs that of Apple and Samsung whose shipments respectively fell 9.3 per cent and grew 1.6 per cent over the same period.
IDC said share outside the top five grew at an "all time high" as more and more vendors have placed their bets on tablets.
"By now most traditional PC and phone vendors have at least one tablet model in the market, and strategies to move bundled devices and promotional offerings have slowly gained momentum," the analyst said.
Its research analyst Jitesh Ubrani said it won't be a two-horse race much longer.
"Until recently, Apple, and to a lesser extent, Samsung, have been sitting at the top of the market, minimally impacted by the progress from competitors," he said.
"Now we are seeing growth amongst the smaller vendors and a levelling of shares across more vendors as the market enters a new phase."
Overall, the global tablet market grew 11 per cent annually, with shipments reaching 49.3 million units, IDC said.
It added that a slowdown in commercial growth had impacted the market but said that won't last for long.
"Despite this trend, we believe that stronger commercial demand for tablets in the second half of 2014 will help the market grow and that we will see more enterprise-specific offerings, as illustrated by the Apple and IBM partnership, come to market," said IDC's research director for tablets Jean Phillipe Bouchard.
Infrastructure provider says international sales now make up 51 per cent of its revenue
Suzanne Chappell of TMS plans sailing venture after selling Oxfordshire-based TMS to acquisitive Chess
Withdrawal of credit insurance by some providers a 'reflection' of current challenge facing IT sector, according to MD Steve Soper
SMART's UK managing director joins Lenovo to boost SMB business