The supersized smartphone is here to stay. According to the latest findings from market research firm Juniper Research, annual phablet unit shipments reached somewhere near 20 million in 2013, and are expected to rise to 120 million by 2018. This massive 500% increase will be driven primarily by markets in East Asia and China, where gamers and content streamers will be looking for larger screens.
With phablets coming from both major worldwide vendors and small local companies, Juniper believes the market will expand in both directions, offering potential customers options at a wide range of price points. Windows and Android should be the two platforms fighting for the top spot with Nokia’s Lumia phones and Samsung’s Note lineup, but Apple could throw a wrench in the works if the rumors of a 6-inch iPhone come true.
No matter which devices ignite the most interest among consumers, phablets should continue to see significant growth for many years to come. It might be time to start expanding those pockets on our blue jeans once again.