Have you ever been tempted to make a call on your tablet? If the trend in Asia is anything to go by, many of us could be doing so soon.
In Asia, “phablets are so yesterday”, according to a report by market research firm IDC. It found a surge in sales of tablets with 7-inch-or-larger screens which are able to make phone calls.
Shipments of smaller so-called “phablets” – phones with a screen size between that of a regular smartphone and a tablet – outstripped notebooks and tablets in Asia last year. But now, demand for larger tablets with voice calling options over celluar networks is on the rise, according to IDC.
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“This shift highlights the sustained interest among consumers, at least in emerging markets, to have a single mobile device for all their needs – be it watching movies and soap operas, taking pictures, texting or making calls, even if the device has a huge 7-inch screen on it,” Avinash Sundaram, senior market analyst at IDC, said in a press release.
“It also helps that these devices are quite affordable, playing in the entry-to-mainstream price bands in most markets.”
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Around 13.8 million tablet units were shipped to the Asia region in the second quarter of this year, and nearly 25 percent of those had voice calling over cellular network capabilities, according to IDC. This marks a 60 percent year-on-year growth for this type of tablet.
Big screens to continue
Companies including Lenovo and Samsung produce these devices, and interest in larger phones is also on the rise. Apple’s highly-anticipated iPhone 6 will reportedly have a larger screen than previous models, highlighting this growing trend.
And the movement is set to continue, IDC predicted, as bigger devices address a “real consumer need”. “For now, it does look like the Asian love for bigger screens is set to continue,” Sundaram added.