SEOUL, Feb. 16 (Yonhap) — Samsung Electronics Co. was the top vendor in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) tablet market in the fourth quarter of 2020, a report showed Tuesday, amid the pandemic-induced stay-at-home trend.

Samsung shipped 4 million tablets in the EMEA market in the October-December period for a 28.1 percent market share, according to industry researcher International Data Corp. (IDC).

The figures were up from a year ago when the South Korean tech giant shipped 3.2 million tablets for a 24.8 percent market share.

“Samsung held first position in EMEA due to its positive and strong growth across the region and mainly driven by its presence in digitalization projects in schools in Central and Eastern European countries,” IDC said.

The tablet market in the Central and Eastern Europe region posted 32.3 percent year-on-year growth, according to IDC, far exceeding that of the Middle East and Africa market’s 10.3 percent year-on-year growth and the Western European market’s 7.7 percent year-on-year growth.’

Samsung was followed by Apple Inc., which shipped 3.5 million tablets in the EMEA market in the last three months of 2020, up 17.1 percent from a year ago, for a 24.6 percent share.

Lenovo Group Ltd. came in third with an 18.3 percent share after shipping 2.6 million tablets, up 152.8 percent from a year earlier, while Chinese tech titan Huawei Technologies Co. sat in the fourth spot with a 7.7 percent share after its tablet shipments declined 20.3 percent on-year to 1.1 million units.

Microsoft Corp. was the fifth-largest vendor with a 3.2 percent share with shipments of 461,000 units.

The tablet market in the EMEA region grew 11.7 percent on-year to 14.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2020, IDC said.

“Shortages and price increases in notebooks are urging consumers to shift their focus to tablets as lockdowns and stay at home measures remained in place,” said Nikolina Jurisic, a senior research manager at IDC Europe. “Online schooling and digitalization projects in education are visible across the region, with the largest recorded in Romania, Kazakhstan, Turkey, and South Africa.”