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Putting a large tablet to your face is now serious business

When phablet devices like the Galaxy Note first came out, people laughed at its then-considered humongous size. Then came the bigger tablets in 7-8″ sizes that could make phone calls. If you’re doubting anyone would buy any of them as a daily device, IDC has reported an increase of such devices sold in Asia.

According to the recent IDC Tablet tracker report, about 13.8 million tablets were sold in Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) and a quarter of them are capable of making voice calls. That marks a 60% growth year on year for such devices.

Initially such tablets would require a Bluetooth headset to make voice calls practically like the original Samsung Galaxy Tab back in 2011. Now it appears that people have no problems putting a 7″ tablet to their face. If you take a look around, most tablets with telephony features does come with an ear-piece speaker at the top so that you can use it like a regular phone.

The biggest growth in this segment comes from emerging markets such as India and Indonesia where tablets with telephony features garner nearly 50% of total tablets shipped. For consumers looking for the most bang for the buck, tablets are seen to be of better value for money with a bigger screen and the price that’s isn’t much more expensive than a regular phone.

According to Avinash K. Sundaram, the Senior Market Analyst of Client Devices team at IDC Asia/Pacific, the shift towards tablets with telephony is due to the appeal of having a single mobile device for making calls, texting, taking pictures and watching soap operas. Another factor is that these devices are quite affordable with models covering a wide price range.

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For the entry-level segment, we have models such as the Lenovo Tab A7-30, ASUS FonePad 7 (RM429) and Acer Iconia Tab 7 (RM499). That’s pretty good value for money compared to entry level smart phones that often come with tiny 4″ screens.

Moving up to the premium segment, Samsung has been dominating the space starting with its Galaxy Tab 7.7. Most recently they have introduced its new Galaxy Tab S 8.4 which boast a Quad HD Super AMOLED display that’s supported with top of the line specs.

Looks like these tablets are no longer a joke and manufacturers like ASUS, Lenovo and Acer are on the right track in fulfilling the emerging markets. Eventually those who are hooked with big screens will find it hard to go back to smaller smart phones.