Small-Screeners Beware – The Phablet Takeover Is Coming

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Juniper Research report predicts that phablets will make up 20 percent of all devices shipped in next five years

The number of large-screen ‘phablets’, such as the iPhone 6 Plus and Nexus 6 (pictured above), is set to soar in the next five years as the devices increasingly begin to replace smartphones.

A report from analyst firm Juniper Research, entitled ‘One Screen to Rule Them All’, has found that more than 400 million phablets will ship in 2019, a five-fold increase over the 138 million devices estimated to be sold this year.

This will be equivalent to around 20 percent of the overall mobile device market, as consumers increasingly turn to larger-screen devices for watching video content and playing games.

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The increase in demand means that within the next two to three years, many flagship smartphones are likely to be phablets by default. The use of phablets in the workplace is also expected to increase in the coming years, with vendors offering productivity software as standard with certain devices.

This will also have a knock-on effect in the tablet market, as consumers with phablets will be less likely to buy smaller-screened tablets, and the price of larger screens may put them off entirely.

This trend will initially be seen in markets where consumers already do most computing on smartphones, such as China, Juniper believes, aided by the continual development and release of several low-cost phablet devices.

“The same chips can now power any mobile device, from smartphones to laptops,” remarked report author James Moar.

“Hardware capabilities are blurring, with devices like cellular-connected tablets, phablets and smartphones with console-level graphics and sound systems becoming much more common. This shifts device design parameters to budgets and use cases, rather than technological features.”

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