Phones with screens larger than 5 inches (diagonal) are often called “phablets” based being larger than phones, but smaller than tablets. While Samsung might have been the first to introduce one, they aren’t going to be the last phablet maker out there. In fact, analysts predict over 60 million phablets will ship this year alone.
That 60 million might not sound like a lot, but it’s 136% more than 2012. Analysts at IHS iSuppli predict that phablet demand isn’t a fad either with double digit growth predicted through 2016.
It seems odd, but TC writer Natasha Lomas makes a good point here:
As I argued in a recent opinion piece, the phablet form factor may be a bit awkward in the hand but it’s easier on the eye when it comes to reading text, watching video and interacting with rich multimedia content — and iSuppli also flags up the increase in rich smartphone content as a factor fuelling phablets’ growth. Device makers seeking to differentiate their handsets by standing out from the average-sized smartphone crowd is another.
“The move to offer larger-display smartphones reflects the efforts of both device and panel makers to differentiate their products,” said Vinita Jakhanwal, director of small and medium displays at IHS iSuppli, in a statement. “With consumers demanding more lifelike viewing experiences, the trend to offer such devices makes perfect sense, especially considering the increase in rich content that is being made available on smartphones.”
And if you think about it, as the tech-centric generation gets older, we’ll appreciate bigger screens, even if we scoff at them now.
But maybe we shouldn’t.
Beyond needing to fit phones into pockets, we don’t really need a phone do be that size. Yeah bigger would be better for reading, images, photography, movies, etc. We have this connection to a phone that is easily pocketable and is easy to hold for calls. Maybe the only thing keeping us from having an iPhablet is Apple shipping a pair of wireless EarPods with a mic in them instead of wired ones. The Elroy project on Kickstarter could be just one starting point for a device like that. Not that Apple doesn’t probably have several prototypes I’m sure.
So, expect to see more phablets around. Maybe it’s time to take another look at this form factor, and maybe Apple should too.
Photo from TechCrunch