Phablets (the combination of a phone and tablet) are destined for success according to a study released by Juniper Research - a company which specializes in researching trends in the mobile ecosystem. The growth in these large phones has already exceeded the expectations of many, but apparently there is still lots of room to grow.
400 million phablets will ship in 2019, a five-fold increase over the 138 million devices estimated to be shipped in 2015. While the iPhone 6 Plus has brought the category further into the limelight, it is budget devices that will drive phablets (smartphones with 5.5-6.9” screens) into the global mainstream.
This really isn' that surprising, since there has been continual growth in the phablet market for some time - partly because users are using phones more for multimedia consumption. What is interesting is that Juniper suggests that budget Phablets will be driving the market. Recently Apple revealed that it made a whopping eighteen billion last quarter, and many technology journalists have said that the company's entry into the Phablet space (with the iPhone 6 Plus) added more legitimacy to the form factor. Juniper also noted (not surprisingly) that phablet sales will cut into tablet sales.
- Chinese vendors looking to expand their tablet and phablet offerings internationally are likely to see much slower growth due to low-key marketing strategies and online-only distribution.
- The use of phablets in the workplace is expected to increase in the coming years, with vendors offering productivity software as standard with certain devices.
The research coincides with Apple's slowing iPad sales. Can we still justify the tablet? The likely answer is that the sale of smaller tablets will be more affected than larger ones. Also, the upgrade cycle regarding tablets is still unknown - considering most are WiFi only and are not purchased on a contract like smartphones.
Source: Juniper Research