Entering the all important holiday buying season, the iPad controls 95 percent of the tablet market, according to a new report from Bloomberg News.

At the same time, global tablet sales rose 26 percent from the previous period to 4.4 million units. Of those, Apple sold 4.19 million iPads. Conversely, Android’s share of the tablet market fell from 2.9 percent to 2.3 percent.

According to Bloomberg:

Android’s market share will rise in the fourth quarter as devices using Google’s platform enter the market, Strategy Analytics said. U.S. mobile-phone carriers will start selling Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy Tab from November 11.

“The tablet wars are up and running,” said Strategy Analytics Director Neil Mawston in the statement. Android and other operating platforms “are trailing in Apple’s wake and they already have much ground to make up.”

Currently, Samsung, HTC Corp., Motorola Inc., and Dell Inc. are selling tablets with the Android OS. But, the number of possible iPad challengers is going to rise further. Hewlett-Packard Co., and Research in Motion Ltd. are also going to enter the tablet game in the next few months.

One thing is clear: the iPad has gotten a huge head start in the tablet market. It will be interesting to see which challengers actually give Apple a run for its money in the long term, if at all.