The Future looks good for the Phablet

Sony Xperia Z Ultra

Sony Xperia Z Ultra

Have you been slow to make the transition from small screen smartphone to an oversized phablet? Are you one of the many people who are waiting for a return to the status quo, when smartphones were smartphones and tablets were tablets and never the twain would meet? Well, you may have a long wait ahead of you. Whatever you think of phablets, they are here to stay. Love them or hate them, phablets have captured a significant portion of the mobile market, and all indications are that the phablet is set to become the preferred hand held device with consumers in the UK and around the world. And even if you’re hesitant to get on board with the phablet trend, there are some very good reasons why should reconsider.

Rethinking the Smartphone and the Phablet’s Versatility

The driving force behind the growing popularity of the phablet, is the versatility that comes from improved technology. The chips and processors that once powered our laptops and tablets are now powering our smartphones. That improved technology gives the smartphone more potential than ever before. Naturally, handset manufacturers and software developers are going to take advantage of that potential, ultimately creating hybrid devices that combine the portability of the smartphone with the multi-functionality of the tablet. Phablets can now deliver the console level graphics of a tablet or laptop, along with the communication features of the mobile phone. This makes the phablet not only an essential piece of tech for the business world, but for the general public as well. For example, the larger screen size makes them perfect for general reading (business and leisure), and the increased processing power makes them the preferred hand held device for gaming and media streaming (leisure). That’s over and above their use as an always-connected device that provides access to the web, as well as calling and texting features. All in one hand held device.

The Rising Fortunes of the Phablet

You can see proof of the growing popularity of the phablet in the fortunes of Apple, arguably the most famous and successful tech firm in the world. When Apple introduced its landmark tablet, the iPad, in 2010 it quickly became one of the biggest selling tablets on the market. However, after four plus years of steadily increasing sales, the iPad has recently experienced a sudden dip in the market. In the first quarter of 2015, iPad sales dipped by 18%. During the same quarter, Apple’s iPhone sales grew from 51 million to 74.5 million. Clearly, the shift to a larger format smartphone, with more screen real estate and more extensive features, appealed to the public at large. So, while Apple’s tablet lost favour, their version of the phablet gained ground. Analysts predict this trend to continue, not only for Apple but for all manufacturers of hand held connective devices.

The Future of the Phablet

Sales of large screen phablets are expected to increase steadily over the next few years. Juniper Research, one of the more prominent tech analyst firms, predicts a fivefold increase in the sales of phablets by 2019. Within four years, they expect phablets to account for more than 20% of the entire mobile device market. Much of that increase will be due to the growing use of phablets in the workplace. That being said, the general public is already showing a definite preference for the large screen smartphone, or phablet. So much so that analysts expect the majority of new model smartphones hitting the market in the next few years will be phablets by default. Clearly, the future of the phablet is bright, and all indications point to it becoming the preferred mobile device for many consumers.

Initially, many consumers balked at the idea of a large screen smartphone. But over the last few years the so called ‘phablet’ has gained ground with many tech fans. The increased functionality makes the phablet a step up from a standard handset, while the portability factor makes it a welcome replacement for the tablet. Ultimately, the rise of the phablet will mean that many people will reduce their tech needs to a single portable device. However you feel about phablets, they are clearly here to stay. So even if you are not a present-day fan, there may still be a phablet in your future.


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Editor in Chief with passion for gadgets and web technology. He is writing gadget news, covering mobile gear, apps and concept devices.

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