Over 120M phablets will be shipped by 2018
Shipments of smartphones with displays that are 5.6 inches or more, popularly referred to as phablets, will reach more than 120 million units by 2018. This is an increase from an estimated 20 million in 2013. The device is expected to become well-received 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, according to a report by Juniper Research.
The report notes that the phablet market could become a growth area for established smartphone vendors, allowing them to build flagship phablet models targeting tech-heavy 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.
The report notes that the OS market for phablets will be dominated by two major players, Android and 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 Samsung's Note series in developed markets, as well as local vendors such as Intex.
However, this dynamic could change dramatically if the rumours of an Apple phablet, which meets Juniper's definition of a 5.6-inch display, were to be realised.
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