Research firm IDC predicted there would be a steep drop off in tablet shipments during Q1 of 2012. Following the surge of sales during the holiday season, a fall of 34 percent, while certainly staggering, is hardly surprising. But there’s bad news: shipments failed to meet even those bleak predictions. Shipments fell by 38.4 percent, thanks in large part to Android slates stumbling dramatically. After a reasonably impressive holiday season, IDC expected Android would continue to make inroads in the market. Instead, the number of units moved dropped drastically, allowing Apple to not just maintain its position at the top of the heap, but assert an unquestionable dominance not seen since the early days of Honeycomb. After accounting for 54.7 percent of all tablet shipments in Q4 of 2011, the iPad opened up an impressive lead, claiming 68 percent of the market in Q1 of 2012. What’s more, after catapulting to the number two spot by shipping 4.8 million units at the end of last year, Amazon fell to number three — accounting for only 4 percent of tablets shipped, a precipitous fall from 16.8 percent last quarter. That’s good news for Samsung, however, which reclaimed its place as first runner up slate wars. For more, check out the PR after the break.