Phablet (noun): a tablet and mobile phone hybrid, distinguishable by a 5-inch-or-greater screen and a SIM (‘fonblet’ if you are Samsung).
It is hard to believe that, in the early noughties, an effective USP was a mobile phone fitting into your top pocket (aka ‘as small as a credit card’). Now it seems the pendulum has swung the other way.
One obvious example is the aptly named Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3. Close in size to the Nexus 7 tablet, the Mega sports a 6.3-inch display whilst the Nexus is only a tad larger at 7 inches. The third-generation Note has a 5.7-inch screen and is being marketed as a phablet. Given the size of these devices, and benefits-hybrid, I can’t help but wonder how buyers intend to use phablets. Is it a large format replacement for the mobile phone, or just a more advanced tablet?
Forrester Research conducted a survey to ascertain where people use their devices to access the internet, and the results revealed that the most common location for both is in their living room (72% use their tablet, 67% use their phone). The comparison chart does reveal that although both are used fairly equally in homes, that is where the similarities end. Whilst tablets are more likely to stay at home, phones are utilised more out and about with the daily commute, work, restaurants, ‘outdoors’ and ‘in-store’ in the Top Five. It would appear that it is fairly vital that a mobile phone remains mobile.
It is therefore understandable and expected that the growing phablet market is likely to eat into the small tablet market next year, as opposed to the smartphone market. Accounting for 60% of the ‘smart connected devices’ market, it is projected that smartphones will continue to dominate with 71% of the market by 2017. Interestingly, the tablet market continues to cannibalise the PC and laptop market, also introducing some hybrids in its wake, such as the Transformer Book Duet which utilises both Windows 8.1 and Android 4.1.
Whether it’s a tablet and a smartphone (phablet), or a laptop and a tablet (taptop/laplet?) – regardless of size, it seems hybrids are the way forward.
Hybrid (noun): ‘a thing made by combining two different elements’.
Catherine Howe is a Marketing Executive at Total Ltd – a business to business service provider, delivering genuine solutions across all core telecommunication services, based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Total Ltd is a business that brings together and unifies all the component parts. For up to the minute business telecommunications news, please view the Total Ltd blog.