The vast majority of tablets on the market only have WIFI capabilities and only the odd one has cellular data. The Apple iPad is the most successful when it comes to not relying on wireless signals to surf the internet or download apps. Emerging markets are starting to embrace cheap Android tablets thanks to the prices coming down in China and Taiwan.
Many indie companies in the US, UK and Canada often deal with white label tablets to get their products to market. The average company simply cannot afford to devote the resources to design and contract out the manufacturing to an existing fab. Instead, they contact existing companies with the hardware already built, load in a splash screen and customize the software. Companies like Monster, Pocketbook, Pandigital, Pioneer, Skytex, Wexler and many others all do this.
In the second half of the year it is estimated that out of the 12 million tablets intended to be shipped out in the second quarter of 2014, half will have cellular functionality. This is critical to emerging markets such as South Africa, Vietnam, Philippines and the Middle East. These countries have little to no infrastructure to WIFi and being able to use the tablet and use a cheap data plan is essential to have everyone connected.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.