A marketing study done by IHS ISuppli suggests that phablets, a new phone-tablet hybrid, will more than double in units shipped from the figures last year. A phablet is a semi small pocket device that is used as a phone, but also has a massive touchscreen and has lots of storage data for apps.
For a phone to be considered a phablet, the screen display must be 5 inches or bigger. Chinese companies like Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo are the main innovators pushing the boundaries between tablet and phone. Huawei’s Ascend Mate has the largest display to date, spanning over 6 inches. Comparatively, Google’s Nexus 7 tablet has a 7 inch screen.
ISuppli’s study projects that 60.4 million phablets will be shipped this year, up from 2012’s numbers 25.6 million. This is an increase of 136%! Furthermore, projections have the numbers of phablets continuing to rise through 2016. This means that phablets may eventually phase out phones as the leading cellular communications product. This is because people want more than just a phone these days, and the more gadgets and perks it has on it, the better the phone will do. At least for now.
The Phabet phenomenon started in 2011 with Samsung’s release of the Galaxy Note, which had a 5.3 inch screen. This marked the first phone with a screen large enough to navigate as if it were a tablet.
China is not the only players on the phablet market, as Sony has released its Xperia Z with a five inch screen, as well as Driod’s 5″ DNA. These American made devices have jumped on the phablet bandwagon and are making waves in the market. What phablets come out on top will be something that we have to wait see, as the race has only just begun and many of the competitors are looking very strong.