You have no doubt noticed a trend amongst most smartphone manufacturers to push the boundaries of screen size with several models on the market in the 5-inch or larger range. Samsung’s Galaxy Note series really pushed the market into this “phablet” sized range with its success, demonstrating there was a market for large devices. Transparency Market Research has published a new report that puts some numbers to what we seem to be seeing and predicts sales of phablets and superphones will reach 825 million units by 2018, generating $116.4 billion for manufacturers that jump into the market. Although North America has been the leader in the market to date, Asian Pacific markets like Korea, India and China are expected to experience the largest and fastest growth rates over the next five years.
According to Transparency Market Research, about 21 million Android based phablet devices were sold in 2012. By 2018, that number should reach 150 million on an annual basis. For Android superphones, Transparency Market Research expects the market to grow from 150 million Android powered units sold in 2012 to 400 million units in 2018. Currently Android phablets and superphones account for 82% and 87% of market share respectively. While Android devices will continue to dominate, Transparency Market Research does project Windows based devices will grow by huge amounts thanks to forthcoming Windows phablets from Nokia, HTC, Sony and ZTE.
Transparency Market Research defines superphones as those with screen sizes between 4 and 5 inches. Phablets are devices with screens larger than 5 inches but smaller than a tablet device. Both types of devices are characterized by fast, powerful processors and other hardware that make them more suitable for navigating documents, surfing the web, watching videos, and gaming compared to normal smartphones whose screens typically range between 2.8 and 3.5 inches.
Noticeably absent from the analysis is Apple, which has traditionally resisted pressure to produce larger devices. Should Apple ever change their strategy, that could have an impact on both market size and which manufacturers are able to succeed.
source: Transparency Market Research