The phablet is a relatively new type of mobile device, which emerged as smartphone screens grew larger and user needs began to shift its focus away from basic voice and data communication -- towards mobile multimedia applications (apps).
New findings from the latest market study by Juniper Research reveal that the phablet -- once perceived to have limited upside potential -- will ship over 120 million units by 2018, rising from an estimated 20 million in 2013.
The device will find particularly receptive markets in East Asian territories such as South Korea -- with gamers who desire a larger surface to play on, and China -- where content streamers will benefit from a higher quality screen.
Phablet Global Market Development
The new study findings by Juniper now forecasts that the phablet market could become a growth area for established smartphone vendors -- allowing them to build flagship phablet models targeting the tech heavy user demographics.
As evidenced by the recent entry of new vendors -- including Nokia, Alcatel and Intex -- the phablet market will likely grow from both ends of the price spectrum with established global brands predicated to focus on higher price points allowing local players to gain a foothold in the lower end.
Applications Software Platform Opportunity
The new study notes that the operating system (OS) market for phablets will be dominated by two major players -- Google Android and Microsoft Windows.
The Windows ecosystem will be driven by Nokia’s Lumia range, which is anticipated to find success in the more affluent demographics of developing nations.
Meanwhile, the Android ecosystem will be driven by the latest in the Samsung Note series in developed markets, as well as local vendors such as Intex.
However, this dynamic could change dramatically if the rumors of an Apple phablet, which meets Juniper’s definition of a 5.6 inch display, were to be realized in 2014.