Are Tablets Threatened by Phablets?

Phone + Tablet = Phablet
Phone + Tablet = Phablet

Not so long ago, smartphones and tablets rule the tech market. They were significantly distinct from one another as distinguished by their screen size. The former is meant to revolutionize the use of mobile phones in terms of communications; meanwhile, the latter was built to challenge notebook computers as they are easier to use.

However, as we all know, the preference of tech consumers continues to change. Gone were the days when people own multiple devices to meet their needs. Today, it’s all about convergence: everything in one device. And this is what pushed some mobile manufacturers to come up with something that integrates a phone and a tablet, thus the phablet. It possesses the functionalities of a smartphone and a huge display close to that of a tablet’s.

Latest figures show that phablets are outpacing tablet shipments. More than 25.2 million phablets are shipped in the Asia Pacific region excluding Japan, while only 12.6 million were shipped in the case of tablets. The phablet figure is almost the same as the combined figures of tablets and notebooks, with the latter having 12.7 million units shipped.

And this we ask: How will this trend affect the tech giants, namely Apple and Samsung? Maybe, for Samsung, it won’t be that much. As you see, Samsung manufactures both phablets and tablets. It maintains a diversity of products so that if one declines, the other can compensate. It just recently released the large Galaxy Mega 6.3 and the Galaxy Note 3. So far, consumers have been pleased with the company’s assortment of sizes.

But for Apple, it’s a different story. Apple has not yet ventured into the phablet trend. It still sticks to manufacturing smartphones and tablets separately. The largest display that it offers for smartphones is 4 inches, which is what the newly announced iPhone 5S and 5C are built with. And as for its tablets, the smallest of its kind has a 7.9-inch diagonal display, which is the iPad Mini. There are rumors that Apple is testing phones of up to 6 inches. If this were to be realized, this will be the first phablet that Apple will be releasing.

It’s fair to say that if Apple remains with its niche, it might face a struggle in the competition against its arch nemesis, Samsung, and this could present itself in two forms. First, Apple might lose smartphone sales against Samsung for the reason that the Korean tech giant has already delivered what many consumers have yearned for: a bigger screen. Second, due to the increasing popularity of phablets, which have superseded the number of shipped tablets particularly to the Asia Pacific regions, consumers might just opt to take hold of a phablet instead of an iPad Mini. Although Apple is currently the world’s largest tablet manufacturer in terms of shipments, it could lose its title if it resists to deviate from its norm.

With all the happenings taking place in the tech world, all we have to keep in mind is the nature of technology. It evolves as time passes by, and we need to keep up so as not to be left behind.

Source: EzineArticles by Author Harold Marshall . Harry is a resident of the humble state of New Jersey. He lives with his lovely wife in a suburban household where he has always pictured family life. Just recently, he worked as the co-editor in a publishing firm in New Jersey. At present, he is a part-time blogger for Ecell Global.

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(Image Credit – Bing)

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