Whether we like it or not, the time of the “petite” phones with touchscreens between 3.5 and 4 inches has passed and we are now heading towards the domination of “super-phones” and “phablets”. It’s practically impossible to find a high-end Android smartphone released during the last few months (or due for release soon) that has a display smaller than a 4-inch and the biggest hits of the market seem to fall in the 4.6 to 5.3-inch range.
Our own Ankit did a very thorough analysis of what he called “the rise of the phablet” last week and, if anyone doubted the future success of such devices, you now have one more reason to start doubting your doubts.
According to a study conducted by ABI Research, a very prestigious research firm based in New York and founded way back in 1990, phablets will “explode” during the next few years and will reach an amazing 208 million worldwide yearly shipments by 2015.
Of course, these are just predictions and some very risky ones, considering how the technology world keeps changing and throwing surprises at us, so they should be taken with a large grain of salt. Then again, it’s clear that ABI Research hasn’t come up with this number out of thin air and the company is basing its research on the “attractive two-in-one device proposition” made by phablets and how that could sweep users off their feet for years to come.
What’s interesting though, and should be underlined, is that the study integrates into the “phablet” category more devices than we currently see as phone-tablet hybrids. ABI Research calls the Galaxy Note and the LG Optimus VU phablets, but also the Galaxy S3 or the HTC One X, which we honestly thought of as slightly bigger than usual phones, but phones nevertheless.
In fact, the research firm lowers the minimum screen size of a phablet to 4.6 inches, so you might now understand why they are predicting huge sales for the devices. Also, we have to say that the 208 million figure should not appear so impossible to reach if we only think of Galaxy Note’s recent success or the initial reactions to the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S3 unveilings and/or releases.
ABI research’s study over phablets is a very thorough and complex one, but unfortunately you have to pay to get access to all of its content. If you’re curious to find out the company’s predictions on phablet shipments and revenues by region or on “super smartphone” shipments and revenues, you can go to their official website and find out how to get the entire report.
And if you decide to pay up, you could hit us with a comment below and tell us a little bit about the report sections we haven’t seen yet. We’d also like to hear your views on phablets’ increasing popularity and how you see the market niche’s future progress.