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Apple leads in tumbling market for tablets

The tech giant still saw a decline in shipments, mirroring lower demand for tablets worldwide, says research firm IDC.

Despite accounting for nearly a quarter of the tablet market overall, Apple is seeing a decline in shipments, according to researcher IDC.

The demand for tablets is still taking a tumble.

Despite accounting for nearly a quarter of the market with the iPad, Apple saw a decline of more than 6 percent in tablet shipments during the third quarter, research firm IDC said Monday. The tech giant shipped 9.3 million tablets compared to 9.9 million, a year ago.

Rival Samsung also saw its tablet shipments drop to 6.3 million in the third quarter compared to 8.1 million last year, a 19 percent decrease, IDC said. The researcher attributes the fall to the market's heavy reliance on tablets like the iPad that use a touchscreen or pen.

Meanwhile shipments of cheaper, detachable computers are reaching "an all-time high as vendors like RCA flooded the market," IDC said. Detachable tablets feature a removable keyboard and computer mouse.

While gaining popularity, detachable tablets costing less than $200 per unit tend to be of poor quality, the researcher added.

About 43 million tablets shipped worldwide during the third quarter of 2016, compared to 50.5 million devices a year ago, IDC said. Overall, tablet shipments are likely to fall by 9.6 percent this year compared to 2015. That's comparable to the 10 percent decrease in 2015 from 2014, according to previous IDC projections.