If you don’t own one yourself, you’ve likely seen them. They’re becoming increasingly commonplace, and in the wild, they can’t be missed. Nearly as large as a tablet, but with the form factor and features of a smartphone, the so-called phablet has earned its moniker for a simple reason: it aims to cross the divide between the smartphone and the tablet to offer the benefits of both in a single device.
Whether phablets are ludicrous or genius is one of personal taste. Some people love them, others feel they’re too large and bulky. But what can’t be denied is that they’re starting to catch on. Since the iPhone’s introduction in 2007, screen sizes have gotten increasingly larger year over year. Consumers don’t like having to watch YouTube videos and Netflix shows on a 4” screen, and enjoy even less having to type out text messages on them. The rise in the phablet’s popularity stems from these problems; ultimately, the device is intended to be more useable, and by virtue of this fact, more enjoyable as well.
The Promise of a Unique User Experience
Phablets, like the popular LG G Flex, distinguish themselves within the market by promising users a new and wholly unique user experience. Whereas competitive smartphone devices must distinguish themselves through operating systems and applications, the phablet has the unique advantage of providing a different tactile experience as well. Once you use the larger screens found on phablets, you may find yourself a convert – even if you’ve been a 4” screen iPhone loyalist since Day 1. It is this exploitation of a gap within the marketplace that seems to explain much of the phablet’s success to date.
The Appeal of Customer Incentives
Of course, it also helps that many companies are offering incentives to get consumers into the phablet marketplace. Carriers like T-Mobile offer hugely competitive plans for phablet devices, and manufacturers like Samsung and Nokia are releasing devices to compete against each other at industry-low prices in attempts to persuade consumers to switch over. As companies first tentatively dip their toes, and then dive head-first into this new marketplace, consumers are the ones who benefit. In return for acting as guinea pigs for manufacturer’s new phablets, they reap the benefits of low prices and incredible data plans.
Is an iPhablet on the Horizon?
So how much of an impact has the phablet had on the mobile device marketplace? Well, if the rumors of Apple finally joining the fray are to be believed, then the answer to that question is nothing short of monumental. Apple has long refused to increase the size of its venerable iPhone, always coming back to the argument that the 4” screen is the perfect size. However, rumors have it that Apple is developing a 5.5” screen for a device that may launch simultaneously with the next iPhone, believed to be called simply iPhone 6.
Are You Ready to Enter the Phablet Fray?
If the rumored 5.5” iPhone 6 comes to fruition, it will be the direct result of popular and unique devices like the LG G Flex and Samsung Galaxy Note – phones that proved there was a business case for 5”, 5.5” and even 6” screens. Consumers have spoken and they want larger phones with bigger screens – screens that make text more legible and photos more vibrant. True, with these larger phones there comes a familiarization process. They’re larger to the touch, fit different in your pocket, and feel different in your hand. But once consumers get over their subjective feelings regarding phablets, it’s plain to appreciate the objective benefits.