The phablet market could grow fast
In the previous part of this series, we discussed why phablets (bigger-screen smartphones) could slow the sales of smaller tablets. But bigger-screen tablets’ demand could increase in proportion, which is why players like Microsoft (MSFT) have already released bigger tablets and Apple (AAPL) could release one next year.
According to a report from BI Intelligence, phablets are the fastest-growing smartphone segment. The report predicts that global phablet shipments could could grow at a compound average growth rate (or CAGR) of 27% until 2019, compared to only a 15% growth rate expected for the overall smartphone market. As the chart below shows, global phablet shipments could increase from 470 million in 2014 to 1,500 million by 2019. Meanwhile, sales of tablets could increase at a slower rate from 280 million to 420 million during the same period.
Why consumers’ demand for phablets is increasing
Consumers have started to demand more phablets. They find bigger screens more engaging and vivid for viewing photos and videos. Plus, carrying a larger smartphone means you don’t need to carry both a smartphone and a tablet.
Apple is expected to introduce two new iPhone models with distinct sizes next month—one at 4.7 inches diagonally and the other at 5.5 inches. A number of players have launched phablets based on Google’s (GOOG)(GOOGL) Android operating system. HTC, Samsung, Sony (SNE), ZTE, and Huawei have all launched at least one smartphone with a bigger screen in the recent past.
Samsung, which is Apple’s main competitor, has been catering to consumers looking for larger-screen smartphones for quite some time. Samsung first launched the five-inch Galaxy S4 last year. Samsung launched a 5.1-inch Galaxy S5 model more recently.