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The Kindle Fire may have captured more than 50 percent of the Android tablet market in the U.S., according to one recent report — but in the bigger picture, Amazon’s tablet isn’t doing as nearly well.

That’s the word from the IDC research firm, whose tally of the worldwide media tablet market shows the Kindle Fire slipping to a 4 percent share, or about 700,000 units — in third place behind Samsung and Apple’s dominant iPad.

The result was in sharp contrast to the holiday quarter of 2011, when the Kindle Fire debuted with nearly 17 percent of the market, or 4.8 million units sold. Amazon doesn’t traditionally disclose its Kindle or Kindle Fire unit sales, so research reports provide a rare glimpse into the state of the company’s hardware business.

Apple’s 11.9 million iPad shipments in the first quarter translated into 68 percent of the tablet market, according to the IDC report.

Overall, the worldwide tablet market in the first quarter was 17.4 million units, which was about 1.2 million units below the research firm’s projections. Samsung was second, Lenovo was fourth and Barnes & Noble fifth.

The market is in a state of flux with new versions expected from Amazon and others this year. Microsoft is also expected to put a new twist into the situation with the release of Windows 8 later this year, with a new interface designed to work across tablets and traditional computers.

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