The Rise Of The Phablet

Smartphone manufacturers have taken the doctrine of “Bigger is better” a bit too seriously, considering that the gigantic screen sized smartphones are increasingly piquing the interest of the consumers. These super-sized smartphones were treading the line between a smartphone and a tablet. With its rather strange moniker “Phablet”, these devices have created a market where none existed.

Shot down earlier by tech pundits, the Phablet was predicted to pack up and leave quietly from the market. But good marketing strategies and the interest of the consumers made sure that Phablets became increasingly popular throughout 2012. The stage is all set for 2013 as more Phablet manufacturers are coming out with newer devices to enthrall the audiences.

A rather nondescript Dell Streak was the first phablet way back in 2010. But it was introduced at a time when other smartphones had a 3 inch screen. The jump from 3 to 5 inches was too much for the consumers to handle. But slowly, the screen size of the smartphone started increasing to beyond 4 inches. This opened up the prospects of 5 inch plus screen sized phablet. One of the first popular phablet was introduced by Samsung in the guise of the Galaxy Note. As the Note started making waves across the industry, Samsung followed it up with the behemoth Note II. The tremendous marketing of the Galaxy Note II across the world was responsible its success. Even in India, Samsung put up a demo device in each and every mall and metro station. More than 5 million Note IIs were shipped within two months of its launch and it has been a major contributor to Samsung’s record profit of $8.1 billion in Q4.

Consumers nowadays have started interacting more with the screen of the smartphone than for using it for its primary purpose – to talk. As the content available for gumption increases, the necessity to view things on a larger screen becomes intuitive. But one cannot just shift from a smartphone to a tablet for this purpose as the tablet lacks the calling feature of a smartphone. Add to that the fact that most tablets are WiFi only or require an additional SIM to operate the 3G services, these factors are deterrents for consumers looking to find a middle way. Enter the Phablet, which promises you the screen of a tablet, with the functionality of the smartphone.

Personally, I have always found that if I have a smartphone and a laptop, I am in no need of a tablet. But a Phablet sure does make a lot of sense right now.

The most quoted reason why a Phablet might not be a good idea is the accessibility and use of the device. A 5 inch screen size becomes difficult to be used with one hand also, putting it in your pocket might be difficult.  Add to that the sheer notion of such a big phone in your hand might be difficult for people to digest. But Indians are surely welcoming it with open arms, believing in the phrase “bada hai toh behtar hai”. Testimony to this is the fact that a variety of Indian manufacturers have introduced Phablets, like the Micromax A110 or the Karbonn A30. These devices come with the mandatory dual SIM option and are competitively priced with other smartphones.

There is no doubt that the screen size is becoming an all important aspect of a smartphone. But the future may not be in a Phablet, but in other form factors that make use of multiple and flexible screens. The amazing concept phone called flipfone sure does sound exciting. Also, as Samsung recently unveiled in CES 2013, the YOUM flexible screen ushers in a lot of potential. These technologies might take time to come to the market, but for the time being, Phablets are going to become even more popular in 2013, with Samsung leading the pack.

What do you have to say about the future of phablets? Would you buy one?

Image Courtesy | cvakunst.nl

One Response to “The Rise Of The Phablet”

  1. Abhishek Sawant
    January 14, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    Good read. HTC’s Droid DNA is also doing very well :)

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