In April 2010, Apple released the first iPad, bridging a gap we didn’t even know existed between our mobile phones and our laptops. Since then, a range has hit the market, with everyone from the big players like Apple releasing newer versions year on year, to supermarket Tesco bringing out a budget model that promises to deliver for families and children.
Next in line was another product we didn’t know we needed – the phablet. The name alone divides people – phone + tablet = phablet, but it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. The phablet is a larger phone, a crossover between phones and tablets, which allows a bit more work to be done without as much extra space needed in a bag. The screen is at least 5.5 inches in size like the iPhone 6 plus, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
Over in the USA, these are catching on, and of phones sold in the first part of this year, one in five was a phablet. In the first quarter of 2015, 21% of phones sold had a screen size of 5.5 inches or more, up 6% on sales last year.
According to data, the trend is being led by eastern markets, such as Taiwan and Hong Kong. The most popular phone of the range is the Apple iPhone 6 plus, as you might expect, securing 44% of sales.
Before the end of the year, we will see another version of iOS software, announced at the Apple developer conference in June, and there will be new Android software by the end of May. Microsoft hopes that a unified approach around Windows 10 will see them boost sales, but they will have to hope that dedicated people want to wait, as it will not be out until the third quarter of the year, long after users get to see what is on offer from Apple and the competition.
Boasting high quality cameras, excellent battery life and the ability to work from anywhere, the phablet is a phone trend which is not going anywhere.