From the CEO’s Desk | The Phab Thing About Phablets

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Mobile devices are proliferating in different forms to the point where we’re seeing bigger-than-a-smartphone/smaller-than-a-tablet devices (also called Phablets). In fact, the latest buzz is about the astounding growth of Phablets.

IDC reports that Phablets are already taking the Asia-Pacific market by storm. In fact, in the second quarter of 2013, regional vendors shipped 25.2 million Phablets versus 12.6 million tablets and 12.7 million laptop PCs.

Why the increasing demand for Phablets? Phablets combine telephony with a better browsing and multimedia experience than smartphones. According to IDC, the devices are a safe middle ground between smartphones and tablets that are affordable options for consumers whose budgets are limited and can only afford one device.

That’s the upside. But the reality is that Phablets ultimately could cannibalize the tablet market that same way tablets did notebooks. It could even put a dent in smartphone sales if you think about it. Right now it’s no big leap for a smartphone user to go out and buy a tablet. But with Phablets getting better and better, they could easily replace both in a single purchase. And as with all things tech, the younger you are the more likely you’ll be comfortable with the whole idea.

There’s another difference to consider in this scenario. People expect their smartphones to be “always on”. They don’t necessarily expect the same for their tablets because they’re not always with them. Given that Phablets will likely fall on the “always on” side of the fence, this could lead to some interesting coverage challenges down the road.

Already have a Phablet? Like your smartphone, do you expect it to be “always on” and how do you manage in areas with poor coverage?

By Werner Sievers, CEO

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