The Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014 demonstrated some new trends of the tablet industry: tablets with phone functions are starting to catch attention from brand vendors; some major brand vendors are developing tablets for the niche market, a sign of their concerns over the future tablet market; and China-based brand vendors, apart from Lenovo, are also competitive in the tablet market.
Expecting demand for smart communication devices from emerging markets to surge in 2014, brand vendors also showcased several tablets with phone functions during the show, in addition to their entry-level/mid-range smartphones. Asustek Computer, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Huawei all released their new tablets with phone functions and provided 4G LTE or dual SIM support for differentiation, Digitimes Research found.
For the conventional tablet segment, Samsung Electronics released its new high-end and entry-level devices in January, but other first-tier vendors did not unveil new tablets for the segment at the show. Instead, they focused on strengthening their existing product lines. Asustek is currently placing its focus on the Fonepad line as the Android on Bay Trail platform is still not yet available, while rumors about it receiving new Nexus tablet orders remain rumors.
Lenovo did not release any new entry-level tablets during the show, but unveiled a higher-end Yoga Tablet. Sony turned even more conservative about its tablet strategy after quitting the PC business.
Huawei released 7- and 8-inch tablets with specifications comparable to those from other first-tier vendors during the show. Although Huawei's in-house developed chips (Hisense) are still inferior to those of other major players in terms of compute performance, the player's ambition for the tablet market is obvious.