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cookiebug68's profile

3 Messages

Monday, December 11th, 2023 11:31 PM

Why haven't tablets crossed over into phone capabilities?

I'm an fairly AT&T Prepaid customer, and was looking into getting a newer tablet. I've been a Verizon customer for way over 20 years, and worked on my phones if I needed to.  My question is this:  Am I assuming after all these years they've never put the capability into small tablets (or bigger?) with the appropriate company of choice SIM card so the tablet can used as a phone?  Let's say I want use a small 3 year old tablet with unlocked SIM capabilities to use as a backup prepaid AT&T phone, will I not be able to do that?  I'm just not interested in very many phones they have out there, as I'm starting into assisted living with a strict budget, plus I prefer to use SD cards that some newer phones moved away from. 

Accepted Solution

ACE - Master

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10.4K Messages

4 months ago

Tablets are not phones.  They have data only SIMs that are cheaper than phone plans, and only allow cell data, not voice.  The “phone number” is just a dummy number that allows the tablet to connect to the network for data.

3 Messages

4 months ago

Yah, I believe I saw the same answer on another post.  Well, it appears to be the only answer as there isn't a built-in phone microphone where your mouth would speak, a speaker where your ear would be, etc.  But, after all this time I've been away from the IT field for work and seeing this request so many times, I was thinking they'd finally have a break through in both wanted and dual technology.  (I'm thinking what did they do in Star Trek.)  Just like Samsung bringing out a small tablet with a built-in case that comes with it!  I just saw that and surprised I missed that after 3 to 4 years.  I guess I'll go online and see what is the biggest phone made to resemble a tablet. 

ACE - Master

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10.4K Messages

4 months ago

I’d imagine it’s technically possible for a company to build one, but I’m sure the carriers would much rather sell you a second plan and SIM for a tablet in addition to ones for the phone, and the manufacturers would also prefer selling you two devices instead of one.

ACE - Expert

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35K Messages

4 months ago

The mic / speaker problem can easily be countered with Bluetooth earbuds.  The manufacturers aren't interested in selling one device where they could sell two devices.

ACE - Expert

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32.1K Messages

4 months ago

There is also the concept of "phablets" (phone/tablet). Like some of the Samsung Note line where they are a phone but built around being like a small tablet. They just don't have full capability like a normal tablet.

In general though, people don't want to carry a tablet next to their head like a boombox.

(edited)

ACE - Expert

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23.9K Messages

4 months ago

That is what the Galaxy fold pixel fold and one pluses foldable are for.  They fill that gap.  They also have the price tag to go along with it

ACE - Expert

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35K Messages

4 months ago

Yes... you're using a more expensive device to fill the roles of the phone and tablet, rather than using the tablet to serve both phone and tablet.  The manufacturer is okay with that.

Community Support

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231.4K Messages

4 months ago

Hi @cookiebug68! We understand your situation. Let's get the help you need.


Let’s start with few questions to understand better.

Let us know the make and model of the 3-year-old tablet. (This will help us to check if the device is compatible with AT&T).
The device shouldn’t be reported as lost, stolen, or involved with fraud.

You can also reach out to our prepaid customer care at 800-901-9878.

Looking forward to helping you.

Thank you for contacting AT&T Community Forums.


Susan, AT&T Community Specialist

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