Phablet

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Samsung's Galaxy Note series (Original, II, and 3 pictured) were the first commercially successful "phablet" devices.

A phablet (/ˈfæblɪt/), (also known as a phonelet or tabphone or fablet) a portmanteau of the words phone and tablet, is a class of mobile device designed to combine or straddle the functions of a smartphone and tablet. Phablets typically have screens that measure (diagonally) between 5.31 and 6.9 inches, 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. While Samsung's Galaxy Note (2011) is largely credited with pioneering the worldwide phablet market when launched in 2011,[1] examples of early devices with similar form factors date to 1993.[2][3][4][5]

History[edit]

The Dell Streak received mixed reviews for its large size and dated software despite its pioneering design.

In tracing the 10 earliest devices in the history of the phablet concept, PC Magazine called the 1993 AT&T EO 440, "the first true phablet",[6] followed by the following devices:

The Android-based Dell Streak included a 5 inch (130 mm), 800×480 display and a widescreen-optimized interface. Reviewers encountered issues with its outdated operating system, Android 1.6 (which was not yet optimized for such a large screen size), and the device was commercially unsuccessful.[7][8][9]

The Samsung Galaxy Note[10] used a 5.3 in (130 mm) screen. While some media outlets questioned the viability of the device,[11][12] the Note received positive reception for its stylus functionality, the speed of its 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, and the advantages of its high resolution display. The Galaxy Note was a commercial success; Samsung announced in December 2011 that the Galaxy Note had sold 1 million units in two months. In February 2012, Samsung debuted a Note version with 4G LTE support, and by May 2012 the Note received an update from Android 2.3 to Android 4.0.[13] By August 2012, the Note had sold 10 million units worldwide.[14]

The 2012 Samsung Galaxy Note II employed a 1.6 GHz quad-core processor, a 5.55 in (141 mm) screen and the ability to run two applications at once via a split-screen view.[15] Sales of the Galaxy Note II reached 5 million units internationally in two months.[16] The 2012 LG Optimus Vu used a 5-inch (130 mm) display with an unusual 4:3 aspect ratio—in contrast to the 16:9 aspect ratio used by most smartphones.[7] Joining the Galaxy Note II on many carriers' lineups in 2013 was the nearly-identically-sized LG Optimus G Pro, released in April.[17]

Examples of Android phablets with screens surpassing 6 inches in size began appearing in 2013; with the Chinese company Huawei unveiling its 6.1 in (150 mm) Ascend Mate at Consumer Electronics Show, and Samsung introducing the Galaxy Mega, a phablet with a 6.3 in (160 mm) variant, but unlike the Galaxy Note line it does not use a stylus.[18][19][20] As a variation of the concept, Asus and Samsung also released otherwise small-sized tablets, the FonePad, Galaxy Note 8.0 and Galaxy Tab 3 8.0, with cellular connectivity and the ability to place voice calls.[21] Later that year, Nokia also introduced Windows Phone 8 phablets, such as the 6-inch Lumia 1520.[22]

Market impact[edit]

In an analysis, Engadget identified falling screen prices, increasing screen power efficiency, increasing battery life and the evolving importance of multimedia viewing as critical factors in the popularity of the phablet.[23] A consumer need for "all-in-one" devices that can serve as both a phone and tablet, especially in emerging markets, has also been considered a factor in the growth of the phablet market. Phablets have also been popular with an older demographic of smartphone users, as their large screens provide a benefit to those with deteriorating eyesight.[24][25]

In 2012, Forbes magazine noted that while most clothing cannot hold a typical tablet computer, men's clothing in particular could and may well adapt to accommodate phablets.[26] Doug Conklyn, vice president of global design for Dockers told Fox News that the company reworked the size of its pants pockets "to accommodate the growing size of smartphones."[27]

In January 2013, IHS reported that 25.6 million phablet devices were sold in 2012 and estimated that these figures would grow to 60.4 million in 2013, and 146 million by 2016.[18] Barclays projected sales of phablets rising from 27 million in 2012 to 230 million in 2015.[28] In September 2013 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."[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Goode, Lauren Goode (January 9, 2012), "Samsung Shows Off 7.7-Inch LTE Tablet and More of That "Phablet"", AllThingsD 
  2. ^ Newman, Jared (April 2, 2013). "Phablets Are a Niche, Not a Fad". Time. 
  3. ^ Olsen, Parmy (February 28, 2013), "Why Get A Tablet When You Can Have A Phablet?", Forbes 
  4. ^ "'Phablets' and Fonepads the New Tech Lexicon". Wall Street Journal. April 24, 2013. 
  5. ^ Segan, Sasha (February 13, 2012). "Enter the Phablet: A History of Phone-Tablet Hybrids". PC Magazine. 
  6. ^ Segan, Sasha (February 13, 2012). "Enter the Phablet: A History of Phone-Tablet Hybrids". PC Magazine. 
  7. ^ a b Elgan, Mike (February 18, 2012). "Rise of the 'phablet'". Computerworld. 
  8. ^ "Will 2013 be the year of the phablet as phone screens grow bigger?". London: Reuters. January 8, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Dell Streak: A Smartphone With a Tablet Heart". PC World. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Samsung announces Galaxy Nexus and Note roll-out schedules". GSMArena. 2011-10-27. 
  11. ^ "Samsung Galaxy Note Android phone". PC World Australia. Retrieved December 4, 2011. 
  12. ^ Dan Grabham (2011-09-01). "Hands on: Samsung Galaxy Note review". techradar.com. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  13. ^ Mat Smith (December 29, 2011). "1 million Galaxy Notes shipped worldwide, US fans throw money at their screens". Engadget. 
  14. ^ "Samsung: 10M Galaxy Notes sold in nine months". CNET. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  15. ^ "Multi-window update comes to AT&T Galaxy Note II starting today". Boy Genius Report. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "Samsung Galaxy Note II Tops 5 Million in Sales". PC Magazine. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "LG Optimus G Pro E985". GSMArena. Retrieved August 7, 2013. 
  18. ^ a b "Shipments of 'phablets,' or large smartphones, to double in 2013". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 18, 2013. [dead link]
  19. ^ Aaron Souppouris (2013-04-11). "Samsung announces Galaxy Mega 5.8 and 6.3, coming to Europe in May". The Verge. Retrieved 2013-07-11. 
  20. ^ "Comparison of the two Samsung Galaxy Mega phablets". Phone listing a specifications. The GSM Arena website. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  21. ^ "ASUS FonePad official: 7-inch tablet with phone functionality, priced at $249 (hands-on)". Engadget. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  22. ^ Smith, Mat (22 October 2013). "Nokia Lumia 1520: Windows Phone with 6-inch 1080p display and 20MP camera for $750". Engadget. Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  23. ^ "The Rise of the Ever-Expanding Smartphone Screen". Engadget, Distro Issue 79, p. 50, Jon Fingus. 
  24. ^ "Weighing the Phablet's Potential". PC Magazine. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  25. ^ Smith, Edward (January 8, 2013). "CES 2013: Huawei Unveils Ascend Mate and D2 Smartphones". International Business Times. 
  26. ^ Worstall, Tim (May 27, 2012), "iPhones, iPads, Smartphones, Galaxy Notes and Phablets: Could These Change Gentlemen's Tailoring?", Forbes 
  27. ^ Epstein, Zach (April 26, 2013), Is that a phablet in your pocket?, BGR 
  28. ^ Shaughnessy, Haydn (February 5, 2013). "Will Making An iPhone Phablet Hurt Apple More Than It Will Help?". Forbes. 
  29. ^ Curtis, Sophie (September 2, 2013). "'Phablets' overtake tablets and laptops in Asia". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved September 4, 2013. "Device makers shipped 25.2 million phablets in Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) in the second quarter of 2013, compared with 12.6 million tablets, and 12.7 million laptops." 

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