Nicknamed 'phablets', hybrid devices are to hit 208 million device shipments annually in 2015
More than 208 million phablets, a hybrid device that is larger than a smartphone but smaller than a tablet, will be shipped globally in 2015 according to ABI Research.
Despite the slow start for phablet smartphones in 2011, the market is at the dawn of the phablet era. HTC, LG, and Huawei will each introduce phablet smartphones in 2012, joining the ranks of Samsung's Galaxy Note and Nexus. Additionally, another phablet smartphone was released earlier this month, the Samsung Galaxy S3.
'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. '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.'
Additionally, Flood noted that new phablet-styled devices provide an attractive two-in-one device proposition and are beginning to see the competition between these larger smartphone form factors and smaller media tablets (less than seven inches).
Phablets are defined as having a touch screen size between 4.6 to 5.5 inches. Global shipments for phablets will increase by a factor of 10 in 2012 from 2011.