XXL

Forget phablets: Asians are snapping up full-size tablets that can make calls

Don’t call us, we’ll call you.
Don’t call us, we’ll call you.
Image: Reuters/Jorge Dan Lopez
By
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

If you think phablets—those oversized smartphones such as the one Apple is rumored to be planning for next month—are gauche, get over it. In the second quarter of this year, device-makers shipped 13.8 million full-size tablets in the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan). One out of every four of those came with the ability to make voice calls, according to IDC, a research firm.

That’s at least 3.4 million tablets being held up to people’s faces as they attempt to talk through something the size of a magazine. Nearly 10 million of these things have been sold over the past year. We’re going to need a new word to describe them, because they’re too big to be phablets: Phatlets? Tabphones?

no-caption
no-caption

IDC attributes the popularity of phablets, and now these super-sized versions, to the Asian consumer’s desire to have one device that does everything. “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,” according to Avinash Sundaram, an IDC analyst.