Acer Inc, the world's fourth-largest PC maker, is counting on the Thai market for its tablet product strategy as the country has the highest smartphone growth rate in Asia.
The Taiwanese firm chose Thailand as the country to launch its first "phablet" at a retail price set 16% lower than its global price tag.
"Thailand is in our top three strategic markets globally," said Nitipat Praweenwongwuthi, deputy associate director of Acer Computer.
The phablet, a combination of the words "phone" and "tablet", is expected to become the next big thing in the smartphone market. Product prices between 8,000 and 12,000 baht will be the key market driver.
Mr Nitipat believes smartphones with screens of more than 5 inches will become mainstream products in Thailand, driven mainly by the greater variety of products.
The price gap between smartphones with screens sized 3.5 and 5 inches is not large, he said.
Wiwat Temsooktawin, mobility product manager at Acer, said phablets look set to replace the 7-inch tablet, while the new wave of tablets will have displays of 8-10 inches.
To capitalise on this market, Acer yesterday launched the Liquid S1 phablet, its first Android-based smartphone, in the Thai market. The phone has a 5.7-inch screen and quad core processor.
It is priced at 11,990 baht in Thailand but its global price is 13,990 baht.
"We want to promote sales of Acer's smartphones here as Thailand has posted the highest growth for smartphones in Asia," said Mr Wiwat.
Acer plans to introduce its Liquid S2 phablet next month. The premium smartphone, priced at 22,000 baht, will feature a 6-inch display, quad core 2.2-GHz processor and 4G connectivity.
Mr Nitipat said Acer aims to have at least a 5% share of the Thai smartphone market, driven mainly by its low-end phone prices below 3,000 baht.
Apinya Sermchuvitkul, telecom account manager at GfK Retail and Technology (Thailand), said the phablet is set to become an alternative device for users who want to buy a tablet.