In the fast changing world of technology where manufacturers are ever on the lookout for newer segment to engage with the consumer, phablets or big screen smartphones seem to have emerged as a surprise hit. Often being the butt of many a joke during the initial days, phablets have not only grown in size and scope but have also started posing a serious challenge to the entry level tablet segment comprising of 7 inch devices. Analytic O’Donnell who has over 14 years of experience tracking the tech segment too is backing the above trend with some hardcore figures, claiming sale of phablets could peak to a healthy 175 million in 2014, outstripping that of small tablets by about 10 million.
The above trend is understandable considering the biggest out there, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra offers a 6.4 inch display, quite humongous by smartphone standards following by the equally expansive HTC One Max coming in with a 6 inch display. The HTC One Max is also unique in it being the only other device apart from the Apple iPhone 5s to come with an integrated fingerprint sensor. These clearly are a few notches below than the smallest tablet currently on sale. Nokia is the newest entrant in this segment with its Lumia 1020 that is another one to offer a 6 inch display. However, it is the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with its 5.7 inch display that is the most sought after device in this segment. These are small enough to be still included in your pockets while offering almost the same functionality as a full fledged tablet.
Technically, any device with a display greater than 5 inches is considered to be a phablet, a term coined to denote a device that’s bigger than a smartphone while still being smaller than the smallest tablet that usually is no bigger than 7 inches when measured diagonally. However, phablets even with smaller dimensions offers better functionality than tablet devices in being more portable while still offering almost the same or even better functionality than tablet devices. Better Bluetooth tech has also saved users from the ignominy of holding up a big slab of a device up to the ear for communicating.
However, strange as it might seem, phablets are still far from being in vogue in the US considered the biggest tablet market in the world. Instead, phablet devices have grown in popularity in Europe, Asia and Latin American countries. Particular mention must be made of South Korea where phablets account for two third of all smartphone sales. Maybe the trend could change once Apple too joins the scene with a bigger screen version of the iPhone, something that is being speculated for quite some time now. A juicy proposition it sure will be, considering another Samsung vs Apple duel to be witnessed that currently is limited to the smartphone and tablet segments.