Tablets that can make phone calls are surprisingly popular

Tablets that can make phone calls are surprisingly popular
The idea of making phone calls on a tablet is still a fairly new one, but it is apparently an idea that is catching on... in Asia, at least. This might not be much of a surprise, actually, because it is something of a natural progression for the region. The Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) region has been where phablets have been very popular. The theory is that users in those regions can't afford both a phone and a tablet, so the phablet was a perfect catch-all device. 

However, new numbers from IDC make it seem like users were simply waiting for voice-enabled tablets. According to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker report, there were about 13.8 million tablets shipped in the APeJ region in Q2 2014, and a full 25% of those were voice-enabled devices. This is a huge jump for voice-enabled tablets, the category up 60% year-over-year. In some emerging markets, like India and Indonesia, voice enabled tablets have almost reached 50% market share. 

Interestingly, all of the tablets shipped in this segment are Android devices, which also isn't so surprising, given that there are no iOS or Windows tablets that make phone calls. It also should be noted that there's no guarantee that these voice-enabled tablets are being used for phone calls. Shipments correlate to sales, but sales doesn't exactly predict usage. 

source: IDC via pocketnow



1. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

In the US, we have a fine selection of voice disabled tablets, largely due to ATT and VZW. These two stalwart US telecom giants, are best known for their industry leading "share your paycheck for everything" and "more profit from everything" plans which enable the American consumer to take charge of their mobile digital experience and to enjoy all the advantages of American freedom and democracy.

4. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Yeah your right . I've worked once in a telecom company in US and every service that you have has an equivalent charge.

2. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

In Asia most tablet are capable of making and receiving phone calls with the use of regular sim not just through the internet.

3. deepblack

Posts: 50; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

"The theory is that users in those regions can't afford both a phone and a tablet, so the phablet was a perfect catch-all device." this is funny.

5. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Sounds degrading. Do remember that most of the awesome , unique and innovative phones comes from Asia . Also people in Asia doesn't need a phone and a tablet where you can buy a descent phablet without being rip off.

6. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

It does sound degrading. IDC is changing people in Asia making a good choice into removal of choice due to being poor. It's just rubbish.

11. deepblack

Posts: 50; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

Yeah, This article is written by a biased idiot. South Korea smartphone penetration is 73% which is the second highest penetration. Cannot affording a phone and a tablet? what a moron.​ion/​one_penetration

15. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

not really... except korea, japan or taiwan, most of asian countries cant afford to have two phones... for example, a big populus country india, I have experienced that people tends to save money... I have seen that they think alot or get confused before spending even if they have money... thats hard wired in their personality, may be socially or like most of the time certain regions have certain type of behaviors which cant be easily explained through a logic or rationality...take philipines as an example, people from there are also cautious about spending..... so this report is not biased and some how not derogatory... (Hey! no offense to anyone/country) Ok... Asia aside, I have huawei mediapad X1 which I use as my second phone... what PA will say about this?

18. marcski07

Posts: 600; Member since: Apr 25, 2014

how's your mediapad x1? the os is not in kitkat right? i would love to buy it, but it is somewhat the same price of ipad mini 2... yes it can call and text, but seems x1 is outdated...

27. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

its not on kitkit, thats right.... and I hate this fact that chinese brands are usually slow on updating or dont update at all... but its a fully fludged phone, In my view way better than ipad mini2... yes it is slightly lesser in price than mini2 or you can say equal... I dont feel it out dated bcoz hardware is better then any other tablet.... 13mp main camera & 5mp front shooter, I havent see any other tablet with same good camera result... but if you compare with flahsip phones, then camera is midiocre... battery life is great which I am very happy about, sound quality is also great... display is pretty cool too same like Htc m8 but if you have used s5, tab s8.4 or 10 for a while, plz dont say its dull and not crisp, same problem I have now bcoz I play alot with my brother's s5 and now I start feeling like mediapad's display is dull... nice addition to the software is "permission manager", you can give customized permissions to applications and I like this feature a lot

9. FrenchTea

Posts: 16; Member since: Aug 18, 2014

It's prejudice... Sounds so « matter-of-fact » and one sided.

7. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

Tablet makes phone call is the only selling point for android, otherwise consumers will easily take iPad or win8 hybrid

12. FrenchTea

Posts: 16; Member since: Aug 18, 2014

Phone call making tablets are probably the reason that Android surpasses iOS in every way including market share then I guess

21. GalaxyS5

Posts: 430; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

don't forget price, specs and many other stuff. and please don't mention wp8 like it's a big deal, it has 2.5% market share compared to the 84.6% market share of android.

22. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Taking into account that Android tablets are over 70% of the worldwide market share now your comment is in the fine border between a lie and plain nonsense.

8. csoulr666

Posts: 116; Member since: Nov 04, 2013

As popular as they are in some countries, people putting 7 to 10 inch tablets close to their ear really look weird to me

13. hurrycanger

Posts: 1772; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

I haven't seen a 10" tab put to ear. Isn't it impossible to grab a 10" tablet with one hand? I mean the traditional phone grab, where your hand actually wraps around the device. I can do that with a 7", but I don't think I can handle a 10", lol.

14. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I put my note pro 12.2 to my ears. Can cover the whole head! Love it!

16. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

@csoulr666.... I dont feel it weird... I just put it on my ear regardless of thinking whether its weird or not? bcoz its my tablet and I am putting against my ear not someone else's ear

10. BigBoss10

Posts: 279; Member since: Aug 31, 2012

That's what I called this a big piece of S H I T Z ZZZZZ haha lol :D

17. vivzek

Posts: 38; Member since: Jul 03, 2012

Yeh. People here don't find big form factor that difficult to handle. Big phones(more than 6 inches screen) is fairly common these days..

19. pegasso

Posts: 285; Member since: Nov 27, 2011

"However, new numbers from IDC make it seem like users were simply waiting for voice-enabled tablets." FYI, voice-enabled tablets have been around since 2010 (the original Samsung Galaxy Tab P1000), so, nobody waiting nothing.

20. blitzkreig

Posts: 103; Member since: Aug 18, 2014

Am loving the coolpad 9976a. It was *cough* gifted *cough* to me earlier this week by a cousin who is employed with a Hong Kong based company. Trust me. A 7 incher with compact bezels is a joy for media consumption & gaming. For example, the size difference between the z ultra & the coolpad 9976a is barely noticeable & the former is sold as a phone. I think 8 inches and beyond is where the phone aspect starts getting impractical. Finally the girl in the picture is holding the tablet incorrectly. That is not the way to hold even a normal size phone. It is possible to firmly grip a 7 inch phablet with thumb on one side and the middle, ring & little fingers on the other.

23. Aplusk

Posts: 120; Member since: Nov 10, 2013

samsung releases wifi and 3g variants of their tabs. Their 3g variant always has voice calling and video calling just like samsung smartphones without using third party software(like skype, viber, fring.). Thats big plus point for samsung.

24. rahul.niks

Posts: 86; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

I have a tablet with voice call but i don't use it as a phone, its a plus anyway to have calling facility if there is any problem with my phone or my battery is down

25. pantsoffski

Posts: 7; Member since: Mar 18, 2013

Can't wait for NotePRO 12.2 phone version :D

26. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3166; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

I use a Blu Life View 8 tablet as my one and only device. I can't hold it to my head because it doesn't have an earpiece. Bluetooth or external speaker are the only options. I'm rather impressed by how well the thing is constructed and how well it works. Uptime in settings shows 741 hours and counting since I've had it and not one single reset. That must be some sort of record for an Android device.

28. thelep

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 22, 2014

magicjack app turns your tablet into a free WiFi phone.It also works on phones and iPod Touch. Many tablet/ipod touch owners are unaware they can use their device as a free WiFi phone.It works like a speaker phone and if you want a private conversation,just plug in earbuds/headphones as the mic will still pick up your voice.No bluetooth headset needed.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.