Smartphones & tablets on collision course as bigger becomes the new better

by Doug Drinkwater

October 22 2013

Phablets and tablets could soon be competing, according to new reports
Phablets and tablets could soon be competing, according to new reports

Ever wondered how that phablet is going to fit in your pocket, or if that tablet can really jam inside your coat pocket? You’re not alone, but as new reports reveal, smartphones and tablets may still be going through a growth spurt.

Citing unidentified sources in the supply chain, news website Digitimes reports that panel makers are now seeing increased orders for 5-inch and 6-inch display panels – especially those with HD or Full HD resolutions – and separately adds that tablet vendors are also going large by looking at displays ranging from 6.5-inches to 21-inches.

As a result, the same observers believe that some China-based vendors could release 6.5-inch tablets with 3G modules later this year, which is poignant because it would mark the first time tablets have competed directly against larger phones (otherwise known as phablets).

Digitimes, which has a spotty record for making accurate forecasts – especially where Apple is concerned - goes onto claim that tablet shipments could reach over 300 million units by 2015.

What is abundantly clear from the report though is that the website expects almost all this demand to pool from consumers. It reports that less than 10% of these shipments will come from enterprise, which is something of a surprise considering ABI Research reported in January that worldwide enterprise tablet shipments were already at around 30 million.

(Worth reading: The big bucks are going on smaller tablets this holiday seasonTablet shipments to be driven by enterprise & Tablets beating laptops in business? Not according to this study)

[Note: It’s unclear if the Digitimes prediction is for corporately-deployed units or those that are introduced as part of a bring-your-own-device scheme].

The good news is that enterprise demand is expected to pick up going forward, with tablet vendors continuing to see this is as alternative avenue to the saturated and iPad-dominated consumer landscape. Sources say that tablet vendors will increasingly look to push their products into industries like enterprise, medical and even car electronics in the months to come.

(To learn about how iPad, tablets and apps empower employees and customers, attend TabletBiz conference & expo in New York on Nov. 13. There are still a few free passes for IT managers)

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