Beancounters at IDC said that Apple's iPad devices making up 57.8 million of those shipments and a third of the market share. Its nearest rival was Samsung which had 18.3 per cent.
Annual shipments hit the highest level in five years, despite a significant slowdown in the fourth quarter, where shipments fell 11.9 per cent year over year to 46 million units.
IDC said it was the second time quarterly shipments had dropped since the start of the pandemic.
IDC researcher Anuroopa Nataraj said: "Though 2021 was a great year for the tablet market, shipments have begun to decelerate as the market has moved past peak demand across many geographies."
Shipments of Chromebooks took a much larger hit in the fourth quarter, dropping from 13.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 4.8 million in the fourth quarter 2021 -- a year over year decrease of 63.6 per cent. However, Chromebook shipments for the full year rose 13.5 per cent to 37 million.
This was because much of the initial demand for Chromebooks has been satiated in primary markets like the US and Europe and this has led to a slowdown in overall shipments. However, Chromebook demand in emerging markets has seen continued growth in the past year."