'Phablets' are here to stay

Smartphone Tablet Hybrid Sales

BGR called for the death of the “phablet” this past February when we reviewed Samsung’s mammoth Galaxy Note, but the market has spoken loud and clear. End-user sales of Samsung’s first true smartphone-tablet hybrid topped 5 million units within about five months, placing Samsung well on its way to achieving the company’s goal of selling 10 million units in 2012. According to a new report from market research firm ABI, Samsung’s Galaxy Note is just the beginning.

Shipments of smartphone-tablet hybrids like the Samsung Galaxy Note and LG Optimus Vu will surpass 208 million handsets annually in 2015 according to a recent report published by ABI Research. We now sit at “the dawn of the phablet era” according to the firm, and 2012 will see hybrid devices launched by HTC, LG and Huawei in addition to Samsung.

“One of the chief drivers for phablets is the amount of time people use their smartphones for web browsing, reading articles and newspapers on the go, or simply navigating their journeys,” ABI analyst Joshua Flood said in a statement. “The larger screen sizes make a significant difference to the user’s experience when compared to conventional-sized touchscreens between 3.5 to 4 inches.”

ABI defines phablets as touchscreen handsets with screens that measure between 4.6 inches and 5.5 inches diagonally, and the firm says shipments of such devices will increase by 10 times in 2012 compared to last year.

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