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Despite this, slate tablets are still shipping in large volumes and reached 43.1 million units during the fourth quarter and 141.7 million for the year.

Many reports have emerged in the second half of 2017 pointing to a decline in Samsung's dominance over the mobile and the tablet market.

While last-year IDC blamed "cheap" slabs for the ongoing tablet sales slump, the analyst outfit said this week that tablets have been "largely relegated to simple media consumption devices" as they don't offer much in the way of productivity.

In a show of just how dominant Apple is, "others" accounted for 34 percent of the market with only Samsung and (just about) Amazon registering double-digit market share for 2017. For all other vendors, the market share slipped to 41.4 percent form 48.4 percent.

THE TABLET MARKET has plummeted for the 13th quarter in a row, with sales taking a 7.9 per cent dive in the fourth quarter of 2017.

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Apple maintained a solid lead in the holiday quarter driving growth both through its lower-priced 9.7-inch iPad as well as its newly refreshed iPad Pro products. Cupertino's focus on the iPad Pro should continue this year.

Overall, Apple shipped out 43.8 million tablets and claimed 26.8 percent of the market a year ago.

Tablets have officially entered their fourth consecutive year of decline, according to a new study conducted by International Data Corporation. It's been going down while detachable ones saw some increase. "As its lower-cost Tab A and E series is challenged by vendors promising better value, Samsung will face a particular challenge in upgrading its base to both a higher-priced and detachable device", IDC said. While iPads were still far and away the most popular tablets among consumers a year ago, with the 9.7-inch iPad and two sizes of the iPad Pro selling a lot of units, Amazon showed the most growth among the top five tablet companies.

Huawei and Lenovo rounded out the top five list with 7.1 percent and 6.2 percent market share, respectively.