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ABI: Phablet market to reach 208 million by 2015

Posted: , by Alan F.

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ABI: Phablet market to reach 208 million by 2015
Did you know that the Samsung Galaxy S III is a phablet? That is according to ABI Research. The firm defines a phablet as a device with a screen that ranges between 4.6 inches and 5.5 inches, which would certainly cover the 4.8 inch screen on the Samsung Galaxy S III. The term was first coined to describe the 5.3 inch Samsung GALAXY Note and we wonder if API's definition is too broad. Nonetheless, based on API's criteria, the research firm sees the phablet market hitting 208 million devices by 2015. This year, the number of phablets shipped will be 10 times the number from 2011.

The 4.7 inch screen on the HTC One X would make it a phablet according to ABI

The 4.7 inch screen on the HTC One X would make it a phablet according to ABI

Back when the Apple iPhone was launched in 2007, the 3.5 inch screen was considered large. To put things in perspective, the 2.81 inch interior and exterior screens on the LG Voyager were much smaller and yet were characterized back then as being "generous". Most smartphones and featurephones went about as large as 3.2 inches except for Apple. Finally, the HTC HD2 launched overseas in November 2009 with a 4.3 inch display and that was considered to be enormous. By March 2010, the device had hit the U.S. market thanks to T-Mobile.

The 4.3 inch screen became the top size for some until the Samsung Infuse 4G broke the barrier in the States with a 4.5 inch screen a little over a  year ago. But even that would not be enough to qualify as a phablet. That category features the Samsung GALAXY Note, the Samsung GALAXY Nexus, the Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One X and the HTC EVO 4G LTE to name a few. Other models from LG and Huawei  that will launch this year, will also be in the phablet category.

With this surge in handsets carrying such large screens, it should be interesting to see if the 5.3 inches of the Samsung GALAXY Note becomes the new ceiling for now or will someone try to top even that?
"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. 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."-Joshua Flood ABI Senior Analyst
source: ABIResearch via Engadget

23 Comments
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posted on 23 May 2012, 20:37 4

1. imkyle (Posts: 982; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)


As much as the Note is a fantastic phone, 4.3 is still the perfect size for me.

posted on 23 May 2012, 20:38 12

2. bangkokbobby (Posts: 9; Member since: 04 Mar 2012)


Love my Note...can't wait to see what the Note 2 will pack (and the rumored Windows Phone Note)...but 4.6" is too small to consider a phablet, IMO...I think it starts at 5"...

posted on 23 May 2012, 20:54 1

5. snowgator (Posts: 3205; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


A) I agree with you. 5.0" like you suggest would be fine.

B). A WP Note????? That would be fan-freaking-tastic!!!! I really have not heard this rumor!! Where did you hear it ?

A Sammy Note 2 on ICS with it's neat looking UI would be fun as well....

posted on 23 May 2012, 21:47

12. Dr.Phil (Posts: 904; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


Here are the sources on that Galaxy Note WP8:
http://www.neowin.net/news/windows-phone-8-variant-of-galaxy-note-coming-this-fall

http://www.technobuffalo.com/companies/microsoft/windows-phone/samsung-reportedly-planning-to-launch-a-galaxy-note-sized-windows-phone/

posted on 24 May 2012, 00:36

15. jcpwn2004 (Posts: 314; Member since: 18 Jan 2012)


hmmm hopefully wp8 ups the display specs because 480x800 would be pretty terrible on a huge screen.

posted on 24 May 2012, 08:43

21. hepresearch (unregistered)


Agreed that 5" is a minimum to be a phablet. I have never seen a tablet smaller than 7", so what if the definition of a phablet can be adjusted to be anything with a screen greater than 5" and less than 7"? That way, those new exact 5.0" screens on a couple of devices upcoming don't actually have to be considered phablets by definition, either... thus, until another device above 5", yet less than 7", emerges, the Samsung Galaxy Note officially stands alone.

Small up to 5" - mobile phone/device only
greater than 5" up to less than 7" - phablet territory
7" and up - tablet only, competing with netbooks and the like

Sound reasonable?

posted on 23 May 2012, 20:47 4

3. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


"conventional from 3.5 - 4 inches".
wait.. who the heck thinks thats still "conventional" that doesnt own an iphone??? lol.

so, the part of the spectrum that samsung absolutely dominates and pretty much created (other than the failed dell streak 5), is going to be huge business? And apple is going to launch a 3.9 inch screen upgrade? yup. samsung is going to be holding that #1 spot for a long time if this turns out to be true.

then again, when are analysts ever right.. lol

posted on 23 May 2012, 21:02 5

6. snowgator (Posts: 3205; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


I wish we could get a job just analyzing the analysts. When I first started reading Phone Arena in September-ish 2010, an analyst said Tablets would be outselling Laptops in 2 years, WebOS was a game changer, and BlackBerry Had nothing to fear because professionals would never move In mass to Android or Apple.

Wonder if those analysts still are working on predictions.....

posted on 23 May 2012, 21:12 1

7. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


likely they are. I wonder how you get a job as an analyst. Im way way way more accurate than they are. Maybe I'm too accurate to be an analyst.

Ever see the episode of SouthPark where they are making fun of family guy, and they show the "writers"? They were manatees that basically put word balls randomly into slots to form the jokes. Honestly, thats how I imagine "analysts" come up with their predictions.. lol. There's a word ball for every brand, category, sales number, ect.. and its just randomly inserted into a tube for "instant analysis" and sent out to the interwebz.

posted on 23 May 2012, 20:50

4. jan25 (Posts: 387; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)


i think 4.7 is just perfect for me and i am willing to go as low as 4.3. i don't find the Note practical mainly for the fact that getting it out of my jeans pocket takes excessive amount of effort.. and yes i have used it.

posted on 24 May 2012, 00:37

16. jcpwn2004 (Posts: 314; Member since: 18 Jan 2012)


yah i don't think i'd go bigger than the galaxy nexus size.

posted on 23 May 2012, 21:16

8. a_tumiwa (Posts: 261; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)


i refuse the statement "The firm defines a phablet as a device with a screen that ranges between 4.6 inches and 5.5 inches" , i think the phablet is a device with screen that ranges between 5.0 and 6.0 inches.

posted on 23 May 2012, 21:44

11. Dr.Phil (Posts: 904; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


Well it's hard to define phablet because we don't know how big you can make the screen without it being too big to be used as a phone. So, I agree with them making the upper limit 5.5 inches (for now), but I do agree that the phablet screen size should start at 5 inches.

posted on 23 May 2012, 21:18 3

9. mercorp (Posts: 968; Member since: 28 Jan 2012)


The Note is epic.
The next note should have a 5.7 inch screen!

posted on 23 May 2012, 21:42 2

10. Dr.Phil (Posts: 904; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


Count me in! I love my Note. I think you could squeeze 5.5 or 5.7 inches using the same dimensions if you made it more of an edge-to-edge screen.

I am so use to the size of it that I don't think I can go back to a 4.3 inch screen. I'm glad the new GSIII has a 4.8 inch display.

posted on 24 May 2012, 02:24

18. 1ceTr0n (Posts: 505; Member since: 20 May 2012)


Same, I'd like to see 5.5'', beyond that is simply TOO big for phone usage, there has to be a cutoff point. Oh yeah, my Note rocks but I f**king want ICS damnit!

posted on 24 May 2012, 00:08

13. DawsonLee (Posts: 26; Member since: 03 Apr 2012)


So where does the Dell Streak come in from here?

posted on 24 May 2012, 00:22

14. christianqwerty (Posts: 460; Member since: 05 May 2011)


I was playing with the Samsung Note at the store, and the screen alone was bigger than my iphone. The phone looked a little silly when i put it up to my head, and it was awkward to hold since i have smaller hands. I thought the screen was amazing and i was totally mesmerized, but i don't think the phablet is for me. 4.0-4.3 inch is perfect for me.

posted on 24 May 2012, 00:51 1

17. Wildmanfan (Posts: 232; Member since: 15 Jul 2010)


To All of the Galaxy Note users, I salute you! That is awesome! All you iPhone users are just idiots for the last 5 years for looking at a 3.5" screen since 2007. What the hell is this? 1992? Listen, the Note is the Note. Accept no imitations, Suckas.

Personally, I am waiting for this rumored Galaxy Windows Note like phone, the Note 2, OR supposedly HTC is coming up with a 5" rival for the Note. This should be an interesting fall/winter from September-December.

I have a question for all the Note users: How do you like your AT&T service? I am thinking of switching over from Verizon to AT&T since hearing about them taking away my grandfathered unlimited data. Let me know what you think.

posted on 24 May 2012, 02:30 2

19. 1ceTr0n (Posts: 505; Member since: 20 May 2012)


After passing the Note over initially my Droid X started to really show its age so I started researching and the more I delved into the Note, the more I really wanted one. I was with verizon for several years up to this point and was mostly happy with them. But after researching everywhere, I found out Verizon wasn't getting the Note. So I dropped them and my unlimited data plan which I honestly hardly got past 500megs a month switched to AT&T so I could get a white Galaxy Note. Had to pay early termination fee also, so an expensive switch but so worth it!

Amazingly, I was surprised to find I now had 4G speeds with my Note vs Verizon is still stuck in 3G in my state, so I gained a speed increase. I however blew threw my 300meg data plan within 2 weeks so I upgraded to 3gigs which is plenty for my needs as I mostly use Wifi.

AT&T service has been pretty good, only one dropped call since last month and have gotten my issues fixed over the phone or online chat pretty quick. I even managed to get my billing date changed even after I spent half an hour with a gal over the phone. I got a txt survey afterwards and I indicated I wasn't happy with the results. A few hours later, I got a call from AT&T manager stating they had overwritten limitation in system and gotten my billing date changed that I wanted.

Verizon sure as hell never did anything like that in all the years I was with them!

posted on 24 May 2012, 20:56

23. Wildmanfan (Posts: 232; Member since: 15 Jul 2010)


Holy smokes! I was thinking about leaving Verizon for almost a year now but the only thing that was holding me back was the fact that I am grandfathered with unlimited data. Since the media has been going crazy hearing about Verizon wanting to get rid of grandfathered unlimited data plans, now, there's no reason to not switch. Honestly, I want the Note in the worst way. My contract doesn't end till september. Once that's up, I can't wait! The 4G for Verizon is not that great. I have been better on AT&T and dare I say.........even T-Mobile. But I think that AT&T is doing great putting up a fight with Verizon. I give it 2 more years and AT&T will become #1.

posted on 24 May 2012, 06:16

20. catt4u (Posts: 64; Member since: 09 Jul 2011)


Have a look at this video; It goes into the use with AT&T:

http://youtu.be/NwF7mgxbi_I

posted on 24 May 2012, 09:58

22. 1ceTr0n (Posts: 505; Member since: 20 May 2012)


Ung, I can't stand her

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