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Asian consumers reaching for tablets to make phone calls

gadgets Updated: Aug 21, 2014 11:12 IST

Phablets have been big in Asia for some time -- their sales already outstrip those of notebooks and tablets in the region. However it appears that sometimes phablets just aren't big enough.

Because now, consumers are reaching for tablets with voice-calling capabilities instead. And this interest is not a blip, according to research and analytics firm IDC, it's a growing trend.

Its latest Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker report, details from which were published Wednesday, shows that demand for the devices has grown over 60 % year-on-year.

Of the 13.8 million tablets shipped to the Asia Pacific region (excluding Japan) in the second quarter of 2014, almost 25 % (3.5 million) did so with integrated voice calling.

As IDC's Senior Market Analyst of Client Devices team at IDC Asia/Pacific, Avinash K. Sundaram notes, tablets that offer voice calling are not a new product -- Samsung has been offering the feature on its tablets for a number of years -- but the surge in demand is new.

"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" screen on it. It also helps that these devices are quite affordable, playing in the entry-to-mainstream price bands in most markets," says Sundaram.