By Alexander Villafania
TAGUIG CITY, METRO MANILA – Traditionally, tablet PCs are considered as personal devices especially with its growing use as a way to access social network services and other personal applications.
However, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) sees tablet PCs becoming appliances, driven by multi-user functions and services on the device.
Patrick Tan, PLDT head of Home Voice Solutions, said tablet PCs are fast becoming unique modes of communication and information portals for users. Unlike notebook or desktop computers, tablet PCs can stay powered on for longer hours allowing a user to immediately access the functions and services they need to use.
In addition, a tablet PC provides a slew of services that can be accessed by various users.
“When these devices are at home, families can use them for social networks, watch videos, read news and feature websites. The tablet PC becomes an appliance,” Tan said.
Indeed, tablet PCs have started to become tertiary personal devices, after desktop computers, mobile phones, and notebook computers.
A survey in October 2011 by Nielsen on the digital media habits of Southeast Asian consumers showed that 17 percent of respondents already had tablet PCs. The same study showed that an overwhelming 47 percent of respondents said they intend to purchase tablet PCs in the next 12 months.
“Having a tablet PC has become need rather than just a want and we’ll be seeing more of that happening in the coming months,” Tan said.
PLDT recently introduced a newer tablet PC model for its Telpad broadband subscription service. The new model is a modified version of the Huawei S7 Lite tablet PC. In addition, the unit will be made free to subscribers starting with monthly plans of 1,849 pesos.
Tan said that they currently have around 40,000 Telpad subscribers.
As part of the company’s pursuit to build a tablet PC user base among its subscribers, the company said they intend to launch new models of their Telpad in 2013. Tan hinted that there will be more devices coming up in the coming months though he did not mention what particular brands.
“We’ll also be looking into offering the Telpad to micro, small, and medium sized businesses for this service,” Tan said.
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