Google's Android operating system captured a record 41% share of the global tablet market in the third quarter of 2012 - as Apple's popular iOS slipped to 57%.
According to Strategy Analytics researcher Neil Mawston, Android managed to rack up a rather impressive jump from just 29% a year earlier - with global Android tablet shipments doubling annually to 10.2 million units.
"No single Android vendor comes close to Apple in volume terms at the moment," said Mawston.
"[However], the collective weight of dozens of hardware partners, such as Asus, Samsung and Nook, is helping Google's Android platform to register a growing presence in tablets."
Meanwhile, Strategy Analytics researcher Peter King noted that overall demand for tablets slowed due to ongoing economic uncertainty and consumers holding off purchases in anticipation of multiple new models, like the long-awaited iPad Mini, during the upcoming Q4 holiday season.
"Apple shipped a disappointing 14.0 million iPads worldwide and captured 57 percent share in the third quarter of 2012, dipping from 64 percent a year ago," King confirmed.
"[Cupertino's] slowdown allowed the Android community to make gains and Android's global share of the tablet market now stands at a record 41 percent."
And although Microsoft only managed to capture a niche 2% global tablet share in Q3 2012, both King and Mawston believe the imminent release of Redmond's new Windows 8 operating system will likely drive MS tablet sales higher during the Q4 2012 holiday season.