So I’ve been playing around a lot with Samsung’s (005930) impressive Galaxy Note II for the past couple of months and I’ve found it does a lot of things very well. With Google’s (GOOG) mobile Chrome browser installed, it’s a joy to surf the web on. Its beautiful, bright screen makes it a fantastic device for mobile gaming. And I’ve found the stylus very useful for jotting down quick notes or making small shopping lists. But there’s just one problem with the Note II and all other similarly sized “phablets”: I simply cannot stand using them as mobile telephones. More →
“Phablet” fever has officially gripped the world. Although the oversized smartphones pioneered by Samsung (005930) may seem ridiculous to some, there’s no doubt that they’ve become extremely popular. And now AppleInsider points us to a pair of analysts who are calling upon Apple (AAPL) to follow Samsung’s lead and get into the phablet market with a new mega-sized version of its iconic iPhone. Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu, for one, thinks that Apple will be “leaving money on the table” if it doesn’t release a phablet this year because “it is clear that many customers want larger screens.” Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes, meanwhile, believes that phablet sales will explode from 27 million last year to 230 million in 2015. With that sort of volume on the table, Reitzes thinks that Apple will find it impossible to resist putting out its own iPhone with a display of five inches or larger.
Few expected Samsung (005930) would spark a global revolution last year when it unleashed its oversized Galaxy Note “phablet.” But now that the Note has proven to be a hit, electronics companies around the world are apparently scrambling to steal Samsung’s thunder by manufacturing their own giant smartphones. Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston tells Reuters that he expects “2013 to be the Year of the Phablet,” with companies such as TCL Communications’ (2618) Alcatel One Touch brand, ZTE and Huawei already bringing their own Note-like devices to the Consumer Electronics Show this week. The big reason that phablets have become so popular, ABI Research analyst Joshua Flood tells Reuters, is that voice calls are simply much less important to users than having a large, attractive screen they can use to read and watch videos. Or as Flood puts it, “smaller was better until phones got smart, became visual.”
Nokia’s outgoing Chairman Jorma Ollila told the Financial Times the company plans to launch a range of tablets and “hybrid” smart mobile devices, although no time frame was given, Reuters reported. The Chairman, who has been with the company for 27 years, admitted that Nokia acted too slow at the start of the smartphone revolution. He believes, however, that the combination of new products and Nokia services will help the company recover.”Tablets are an important one, so that is being looked into, and there will be different hybrids, different form factors in the future,” he said. Nokia’s failed smartphone strategy has cost the company dearly. Due to Samsung’s success in the market, the South Korean manufacturer recently ended Nokia’s 14-year streak as the world’s top mobile phone vendor. More →