The global tablet market just isn't the growth market it used to be.

Although the market still expanded in the most recent quarter for which data is available, the global tablet market was only able to expand at a paltry 3.8% according to research firm IDC. Among specific companies, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad maintained its place as the world's most popular tablet, although shipments of its highly popular iPads declined from the same quarter last year.

If this quarter bears any indication, it could be a hard year for Apple in the tablet market. Beyond slowing market growth, there's another good reason to worry over the iPad's performance in 2014 as well: increased competition.

Exhibit A: Xiaomi's MiPad
Although we could easily focus on Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) recently launched Surface Pro 3, Xiaomi's recently unveiled MiPad is an equally serious, if not more so, threat to the iPad Mini.

At first glance, the MiPad appears to bear an uncanny resemblance to the iPad Mini, while the names of the two products also share some striking similarities. Beyond just device specifics, Xiaomi has proven it's the real deal, with its quick ascent as a force to be reckoned with in the Chinese smartphone market. In the video below, tech and telecom specialist Andrew Tonner argues that Apple investors should certainly be alarmed by Xiaomi's MiPad.

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning: it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development Dream Team to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out... and some early viewers are even claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, AND the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of these type of devices will be sold per year. But one small company makes this gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

Andrew Tonner owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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