Phablets have experienced phenomenal growth in shipments across the Asia-Pacific region.
Shipments increased by an average of 88 per cent quarter-on-quarter between year-end 2011 and June 30 of this year, according to IDC.
Much of the growth can be attributed to emerging markets like China and India where there is now high consumer demand for phablets, devices that straddle the line between tablet and mobile phone.
It may be a sign of the phablet’s cannibalization of the tablet market (much as tablets took the air out of the PC market.)
Low-cost phablet alternatives have also removed price barriers to device adoption.
In fact, the rise of low-cost phablets has ended Samsung’s dominance of this market. Samsung, maker of premium phablets like the Samsung Note, was responsible for 90 per cent of phablet shipments in the fourth quarter of 2011, but the company’s share had shrunk to less than 50 per cent by the second quarter of this year, according to IDC.
On average, low-cost phablets are priced at around $US220, compared to $US560 for Samsung devices.
IDC’s data excludes Japan but covers the entire Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, China and India. The research firm defines phablets as having a screen size of five to just under seven inches.
IDC groups phablets with tablets and laptop PCs into a market for “portable devices,” and in fact phablets are the only device category in the group that’s experiencing growth. Over the first half of this year, tablet shipments have decreased quarter-on-quarter, and laptop growth has been flat.
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