Amid a fiercely competitive market for computing devices, smartphones, tablets, and so on, a number of devices were created in this decade to invade into each other’s functionalities to either eat away other’s market share or retain their own. The key contenders were smartphones, Phablets, tablets and mini notebooks, whereas the losers were laptops. The smartphones which were earlier shrinking in their sizes started increasing their screen sizes, reincarnating themselves into a new category called ‘Phablets’.
Among so many variants, it was natural for the consumers to get confused choosing between them. Phablet being an in-between device between a phone and a tablet didn’t pick up initially. However, the credit goes to Applewho last year introduced its iPhone 6 Plus with 5.5 inches display that enticed the consumers towards Phablets. It’s then the consumer realized that s/he can manage with just one device which can work as a smartphone as well as a tablet or a mini-laptop, without requiring a separate bag to carry the device. It’s natural the consumer wants maximum functionality in a device along with the convenience to easily handle and operate it anywhere, anytime. The so called Phablets are large display smartphones which are handheld and have several applications including internet web browsing, e-mails, business apps, video gaming and streaming (TV program, movie, other), GPS navigation, camera, and so on.
It’s surprising to see Phablets gaining significant momentum sometime in last year and continuing the trend to surpass the tablet sales this year, and the trend is expected to continue for a few more years. Here is a shipment graph from IC Insights.
In 2014, the large screen smartphones (i.e. Phablets with display sizes of 5 inches or more) unit shipment was at 152 million. In 2015, such smartphone or Phablet shipment is expected to reach 252 million, a whopping 66% increase. According to the IC Insights report, this momentum for Phablets is expected to continue until 2018 at a CAGR of 40%. It’s interesting to know that Apple alone shipped 61.2 million iPhone 6 Plus handsets in the first quarter of this year.
The tablet unit sale in 2015 is forecast to increase by just 2% to reach 238 million units, i.e. much lower compared to Phablets. For a full 2014-2018 period, the tablet CAGR is expected to remain at 3%. The mini tablets in the range of 7” to 9” displays are losing their popularity.
The Phablet share in the total smartphone sales is expected to continuously increase from 17% in 2015 to 21% in 2016 and 30% in 2018. The total smartphone sale is expected to reach 2 billion by 2018.
Shall we see more varieties of larger screen smartphones in the upcoming market? We already have some and more would be coming. Can size only sell?
The IC Insights report is HERE for reference.
Pawan Kumar Fangaria
Founder & President at www.fangarias.com