Many watchers, this author included, never thought phablets would make an impact. But they are taking off, mostly due to Samsung’s Note series, an Android-driven smartphone/tablet computer hybrid (hence, a “phablet”) introduced in October 2011. It tallied a respectable ten million shipments as of August 15, 2012. Not bad for a product category that virtually didn’t exist a couple years back. Its successor, the Galaxy Note II, was released in August 2012. With its massive 5.55-inch screen sporting the native 720p (1,280-by-720) resolution, it’s the perfect epitome of the phablet trend.
There’s no denying that phablets are slowly but surely becoming the new normal as deep-pocketed smartphone users now yearn for devices with a greater screen real estate and more computational power to handle even more tasks previously handled by the struggling notebook or the traditional PC. That being said, today we’re asking you to opine on whether or not Apple should release a phablet of its own, a 5+ inch iPhone of sorts…
At this year’s CES, phablets garnered much attention as vendors like Sony and Huawei unveiled their jumbo-sized smartphones.
Sony, for example, announced a five-inch phablet and China’s Huawei upped the ante with a massive 6.1-inch smartphone meet tablet kind of a device.
Make no mistake, phablets are increasingly becoming the new normal. No wonder Apple relented and pushed the iPhone for the first time ever from 3.5 to four inches with the release of the iPhone 5 in September 2012.
It’s clearly what many consumers now want. Look, nobody’s saying that phablets are capable of matching compact smartphones in portability – they aren’t (your ‘is that a phablet in your pocket or are you just happy to see me’ joke goes here).
But if you’ve ever held any phablet in your hand, you know these things are indeed better than your typical mid-size smartphone for reading stuff, watching movies, enjoying photos, playing games and interacting with your content.
As for Apple, it could be cooking something new behind the scenes.
The Japanese blog Macotakara reported back in March 2012 that Apple is working on a brand new iOS device. It is supposed to come out in 2013 and allegedly has a five-inch display sporting a 1,600-by-960 or 1,28-by-960 pixel resolution.
On top of that, the latest chatter points to a mid-year iPhone refresh and sources now claim that Apple could release the iPhone 5S in multiple colors and two display sizes in an effort to diversify the brand,
Specifically, Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White thinks the next iPhone will offer “different screen sizes that we believe will allow Apple to better bifurcate the market and expand its reach”.
And his Jefferies peer Peter Misek previously called for at least a 4.8-inch iPhone 5S.
So, should Apple join the fray with a phablet of its own, a five or more inch iPhone or iPod touch with voice calling capabilities?
Here, cast your vote now.
Per usual, join us for the discussion down in the comments.