25 per cent of the tablets 13.8m tablets shipped to Asia-Pacific markets – excluding Japan – during Q2 2014 featured built-in voice calling over mobile networks, according to an IDC report. This is a 60 per cent growth year-on-year for these devices, 100 per cent of which are Android-based.
In certain markets, including India and Indonesia, these devices actually accounted for over half of tablet shipments during the quarter.
“This shift highlights the sustained interest among consumers, at least in emerging markets, to have a single mobile device for all their needs, even if the device has a huge 7” screen on it,” said Avinash Sundaram, senior market analyst at IDC Asia-Pacific. “It also helps that these devices are quite affordable, playing in the entry-to-mainstream price bands in most markets.”
The trend seems like a logical extension of Asia's fondness for 'phablet' devices, smartphones sized between 5-7". For example, according to Flurry figures from last year, 41 per cent of smartphones in use in South Korea are phablet-sized, compared to a worldwide average of seven per cent.