With all due respect to the Dell Streak 5 and Streak 7, Samsung recently proved that there’s a market for gigantic smartphone/tablet hybrids – or “phablets” – with the 5.3in Galaxy Note.
It was somewhat of a surprise success, initially being considered a niche device, but now everyone and their dog is getting in on the action. Indeed, ABI Research tells us to brace for what it calls a “phablet avalanche” this year.
Oddly, ABI Research defines phablets as smartphones measuring between 4.6in (huh?) and 6.5in. As such, that’d include the Samsung Galaxy S III, LG Optimus 4X HD, HTC One X… Hmm, not convinced about that, ABI.
In any case, it’s clear that many manufacturers are thinking: bigger is better. I recently penned Living the 5in 1080p smartphone dream, detailing no less than seven such smartphones. In fact, the Lenovo K900 is actually a 5.5in beast.
There’s also the monstrous 6.1in Huawei Ascend Mate, while the Samsung Galaxy S IV and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 are tipped to weigh in at 5in and 6.3in respectively.
Not to be outdone by its Android rivals, Sony is also expected to drop a 6in 1080p flagship later this year.
ABI reckons 83 million phablets were shipped in 2012 (a rise of 4,504% from 2011), and projects that 150 million will ship this year – accounting for 18% of all smartphones.
Finally, it’s suggested that Apple will join the phablet party in late 2013. Yours truly semi-jokingly predicted a 6in iPhone (nestled between the iPhone 5 and iPad mini) last year, and it's starting to sound less silly as the weeks roll on.
via: ABI Research