A record-setting unit shipments of Apple’s iPad led to a better-than-anticipated growth for the tablet market during the second quarter of this year, a market research report said.

According to preliminary data from market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide tablet shipments for the second quarter of 2012 are estimated at 25 million units, representing a quarter-over-quarter increase of 33.6 percent from 18.7 million during the previous quarter and year-over-year growth of 66.2 percent from 15 million units at the same time last year.

IDC will release final shipment numbers for the second quarter later this month, reported Xinhua.

“The vast majority of consumers continue to favour the iPad over competitors, and Apple is seeing increasingly strong interest in the device from vertical markets especially education,” Tom Mainelli, IDC’s research director for mobile connected devices, said in a statement.

Besides Apple, the other four of the top five tablet vendors, namely Samsung, Amazon, Asus and Acer also experienced solid growth on a yearly basis during the second quarter.

Apple shipped around 17.04 million iPads during the quarter, followed by Samsung with 2.39 million units.

For the second half of 2012, IDC expects competition in the tablet market to continue to heat up as new products like Microsoft’s Surface and Google/Asus co-branded Nexus 7 hit the store shelves.

However, IDC said new products could further secure Apple’s position, rather than reshaping the market.