As smartphone technology evolves and competition becomes more intense in that market space, innovations are not only focusing on features but also on phone size. Thus, we now have still another new marketing term — phablet. [Yes, just what we need another new term. πŸ™‚ ] A phablet is a combination of a phone and tablet, a full-featured smartphone with a much bigger screen.

Will this trend continue? Will it be successful? Will it slow the growth of tablets?

As Brian X. Chen reports for the New York Times:

“Smartphones are going against one of the long-held rules in portable electronics, that smaller is better. Year by year, computers, storage devices, and music players have shed size and weight. And for decades, it has been happening with cellphones, too. But now cellphones, and smartphones in particular, are going the way of the television: They just keep getting bigger and bigger. And people keep buying them.”

“The trend became even more apparent this week, as handset makers introduced a number of big-screen smartphones β€” from five diagonal inches to more than seven inches β€” at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain. Samsung Electronics, Sony, and the Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE, among others, are all betting that consumers find images and video to be more vivid and engaging on a bigger screen, and that they may prefer to carry a larger phone instead of both a smartphone and a tablet.”

Click on the image to see a video on the phablet.



17 Replies to “The Rise of the Phablet”

  1. I agree that smaller is better definitely when it comes to a phone. I hate having to carry around a heavy large phone especially sense I bring it with me everywhere. But as technology has evolved phones do seem to be getting larger and larger. But it doesn’t stop me from buying the newest smart phone or update because as the phones get bigger the technology has improved. I think its important to stay current and up to date with technology and the latest trends.

  2. The trend is likely to continue for a year or two as people nowadays are quick to adapt new technology and apps and no company wants to play catch-up and be a dinosaur like Blackberry. And after a year, as consumer feedback pours in, that will really determine the future of phablets. I personally think the biggest bottleneck for the growth of phablets will be the battery life. As it is, I already tend to lower my data usage when I head out for the day to conserve battery life when I am not carrying my charger. A bigger screen will use up more battery and will be harder to resist to constantly use in free time, draining the power even faster. On competing with tablets, it will definitely eat away some of the market of the smaller screen tablets.

  3. I honestly feel like with the variety of smartphones we have today this is unnecessary. It seems almost as if they are running out of ideas so they are just merging products. Maybe this will just be a phase but I would be surprised if the “phablet” would really take off.

  4. Like others have stated I don’t think it will be successful because of the variety of phones already on the market with big enough screens. I have a galaxy s4 and I think that is big enough. Were would you put a phablet because it probably won’t fit in your pocket. It is also going to be overpriced and I think people would rather pay for a smartphone that can fit in your pocket instead.

  5. Here’s the issue for those who think the phablet will fail: Aren’t you doing more things than ever on your smartphone relative to other devices? And to access the Web, shop, etc., aren’t larger screens more helpful? Won’t phablets have a big impact on tablets?

  6. When the tablet first came out I thought it was one of the silliest things ever. It wasn’t good as a laptop, and it was basically a large screened phone that could take calls or text. However I was proven wrong, and now it seems that everyone has one. So once again, while i think the phablet is an outrageous idea I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes off as well.

  7. I think a phablet is an amazing idea which will appeal to a broad customer base. I think the trend is to have one piece of equipment do as much work as possible. While I would like to have a smaller and sleeker phone, I am willing to sacrifice a bit of the ease associated with carrying it around for the added features of a tablet on my phone. Of course I am pretty sure that within a year or so there will be an iPhablet Mini. Problem solved.

  8. I’m really unsure about where I stand on the topic of a phablet. I think the iPhone 5 could be a little bit wider, but I also think the Galaxy Note 3 is ridiculously big. Big phones are just inconvenient, especially for girls. Big phones don’t fit in the small pockets of girls’ jeans, and they don’t fit into their small satchels that they carry around. I also think that the phablet will get rid of the idea of a tablet, and I actually really like tablets. I own a tablet myself and it’s the most convenient thing to carry around when I don’t want to drag my computer with me everywhere. I think people are trying to use phones for too much, and they should let phones, tablets, and computers be all separate things.

  9. How competitive the market is right now is all we can see based on the article. Competition is going to diverse with the development of science and technology, not only among the identical products or services, but expands to the con-generic products. Be prepared in advance and figure out the emerging trends in the future, this is the only way to be the winner forever,

  10. I believe that the phablet will be a success. Today many different phones such as the galaxy note keeps updating and doing everything a phone and tablet can do. I personally love iPhone but am considering getting the new note because not only is it a phone but it will lighten the load and I will only carry one device which accounts for two. Big phones are what people are tending to get due to the features they have. Big phones are inconvenient but if the phone is a tablet as well, it wont be that inconvenient. I think the phablet is a great idea.

  11. For a long time, cell phones kept getting smaller and smaller. However, once touch screens were added into the formula, we saw the sizes of these smartphones increase. People use these devices to play games, watch tv shows, as GPS navigation systems, etc. Although most other electronics tend to get smaller with new innovations and developments, the smartphone has been getting larger in order to be compatible with the current and future demands from consumers.

  12. From my personal view, the current trend is not simply changing size from smaller to bigger but integrating functions from single to multiple. It is not size-oriented but function-oriented. The smaller, light-weight phone was introduced because of a rising concern about the function whether it was easily portable in old days. But, people now want to combine computer, tablet, and phone into one thing. People want the one which combines all functions of above things. This is the true reason why phones are going to be bigger and bigger.

  13. This topic has been something that has confused me ever since iPads were invented and then in turn started becoming smaller. It is the opposite effect that is explained here, but the same type of counter-productivity. When it comes to cellphones, I always thought smaller was better; that was how the trend had always been. When it came to something you keep safe in your home and do not need to carry around, bigger was better, i.e. iPads, televisions. Now I have difficulty telling which direction any technology should go. Cell phones became bigger in order to be capable of more, and then they again became smaller boasting the fact that you could still do more with less. Once again they are trending toward becoming larger and now I am not sure why. In my personal opinion, cell phones should always at least be able to fit in one’s pocket since those exist that still have all or most data capabilities of iPads.

  14. Personally, a phone the size of the current versions of iPhone work just fine but i certainly understand the desire for a larger screen at times. I think this is one of the few obvious things that Apple is not doing but its competitors are. I believe most if not all of Samsung recent phones are larger than the iPhone. Apple most likely believed to be combating this issue by putting out the iPad Mini but I wouldn’t categorize that in the phone department. It is interesting to think about the trends- I believe that as far as laptops go the smaller and more portable the better, for desktop computers it appears that the larger the better and people are often working with multiple screens now, and for tablets i bet they will never get much bigger then where they are at now because they are supposed to be portable.

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