Much to the surprise of those who have written off the 'phablet' phenomenon, ABI Research reckons that the hybrid form factor will grow in number to a staggering 208 million units across the world by 2015.
The ‘phablet’ is essentially a cross-over between a phone and a tablet, and is around 5-inches in size. The market has been here before, of course, what with Dell launching the 5-inch Streak in 2011 and more recently Samsung outing the stylus-equipped Galaxy Note.
Some researchers, including Gartner and DisplaySearch, have openly admitted to TabTimes that they don’t see this category as to taking off, but ABI Research clearly disagrees, and today published the new ‘Phablets and Super Smartphones’ report which indicates that phablet shipments will increase by a factor of ten this year, before growing to reach a healthy 208 million units by 2015.
To highlight just how big that figure is, it is worth pointing out that fellow researcher iSuppli expects total tablet shipments to reach 242 million units over the same time-frame.
ABI Research claims that HTC, LG and Huawei will launch their own models in 2012, and interestingly points to Samsung’s Galaxy S3 smartphone as a ‘phablet’, a view which Samsung agrees with, if recent reports are anything to go by.
“One of the chief drivers for phablets is the amount of time people use their smartphones for web browsing, reading articles and newspapers on the go, or simply navigating their journeys,” said senior analyst Joshua Flood, in a statement.
“The larger screen sizes make a significant difference to the user’s experience when compared to conventional-sized touchscreens between 3.5 to 4 inches.” The firm added that this style of device provides a kind of ‘two-in-one’ device between a smartphone and tablet, and actually suggests that larger smartphones are competing with smaller tablets.
ABI Research defines phablets as to having a touchscreen display sized between 4.6 and 5.5-inches.