Are Phablets Signaling a Butterfly Effect for Mobile Devices? By Ken Kaplan, Intel iQ Managing Editor
they’re just small tweaks to make bigger smartphones or smaller tablets, but
the rising popularity of phablets could lead to a faster global shift to more
always-connected touchscreen computing devices.
may not agree on whether these things are more like a big smartphone or a small
tablet, but experts are in sync about the big splash phablets will make at next
month’s Computex event in Taipei, Taiwan.
Some even see increasing demand for phablets not only
impacting how tablets and phones will evolve but alsohow people are using mobile devices,
particularly people around the world who are buying phablets as their first
These hybrid mobile devices typically come with screens that
are only five to seven inches diagonally across, just like theAsus FonePad
7and theAsus Zenfone
6, both priced affordably in the $200-250USD range.
“What we’re seeing with Phablets is less a new distinct
category and more the emergence of a single continuum that starts at 3.5-inch
and moves up to 10-inch plus tablets,” saidGeoff Blaber, vice
president of research at CCS Insight, in aninterview earlier in the year.
By that he is referring to mobile touchscreen devices with built in 3G and LTE
fascinating part is the widely different distribution characteristics between
smartphones, phablets and tablets. That has big implications for everyone in
the value chain.”
Blaber expects 5.5-inch
to 6.9-inch devices to account for 10% of global smartphone shipments by end
“Bigger screens are becoming essential for browsing,” Tim
Coulling, a senior analyst at Canalys said, in a recent interview withThe Guardian.
make it a lot more attractive – you can fit more information into a single
screen. Media consumption is becoming more and more important. That requires a
larger screen. Email gets easier on a big screen too.”
in a handful of recent interviews with tech industry insiders was the notion
that phablets may seem like a hybrid or simple fusion of phone and tablet, but
their growing popularity could result in significant changes both for device
makers and people using them as their first real computing device.
Sales of phablets today may seem like a trickle compared with
smartphone and tablet sales, but it could be akin to the “butterfly effect,”
a method for predicting hurricanes based on how distant a butterfly had flapped
its wings several weeks earlier.