Those Phabulous Phablets

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What do you call a device that’s too big to be a phone, yet too small to be a tablet? You call it a phablet, of course.

Consulting firm Carlisle & Gallagher set out to define the exact dimensions of this new product category, and to gauge its popularity.

According to their research, there was a 47% increase in the median screen size of smartphones on the market from 2010 to 2014.  Meanwhile, there has been a 28% decrease in the median screen size of tablets during the same period.

In fact, there is only a 0.7 inch difference now between the screen size of the largest smartphone (6.3”), and that of the smallest tablet (7”).

This phenomenon has caused something of a convergence in the market, as larger, more capable phones meet up with smaller, more portable tablets. Hence, we’ve witnessed the birth of the phablet.

Of course, screen size alone does not a phablet make: the capabilities of the two device classes have also converged somewhat, as the hardware and software in phones have become more powerful and sophisticated.

Does this mean that we’ll soon consolidate our devices, and buy fewer of them? The very thought must have the folks at Apple and Samsung shaking in their flip-flops.


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