Jul 16, 2019 | Updated: 04:55 PM EDT

2014: More Tablets And Phablets

Jan 31, 2014 10:41 AM EST

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GFK Insights posted in a recent blog the growth of mobile, tablets and phablets outlook. According to GFK, larger devices such as phablets offer a canvas on which users can view a variety of content on a screen which is large enough to provide an enjoyable user experience. The blog states its key differential between phablets and other portable devices (such as laptops) is that phablets retain the core features of mobile devices, such as voice calls and messaging while on the move. The company pointed out that differential seems to appeal to consumers.

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The research also found that the tablet market is increasingly diversifying. GFK noted in their blog that high-end tablet devices now push beyond the 10-inch barrier, while a plethora of smaller and cheaper tablets occupy the 7-8-inch territory. The company’s sales data strongly suggests tablets have negatively impacted laptop sales, at the very least by delaying replacement purchases. According to GFK, there are already signs of demand being impacted. A recent survey we conducted in Western Europe shows that 10% of existing tablet owners are considering converging their tablet and smartphone to a single large-screen mobile handset. In Asia-Pacific their research sales data shows weakening tablet trends in markets where phablet sales have risen rapidly in recent months.

Phablets are mobile devices designed to combine or straddle the functions of a smartphone and tablet. Wikipedia describes Phablets as characterized by the use of large screens, typically with a diagonal size between 5 to 6.9 inches (130 to 180 mm), which complement screen-intensive activity such as mobile web browsing and multimedia viewing. Phablets may also include software optimized for an integral self-storing stylus to facilitate sketching, note-taking and annotation. International Data Corporation (IDC) reported that its research indicated that phablet size smartphones "overtook shipments of both laptops and tablets in Asia in the second quarter of 2013.

According to International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide tablet shipments are expected to reach 221 million units in 2013, up 54 percent on year. Next year, shipment growth is projected to slow to 22 percent on-year to a total of 271 million units. And by 2017, annual market growth will slow to single-digit percentages, IDC said.

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