Phablet shipments soar at expense of portable PCs

IDC expects large-screen smartphones to grow from 14% of global market in 2014 to 32.2% in 2018

Tags: International Data Corporation
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Phablet shipments soar at expense of portable PCs
By  Stephen McBride Published  September 4, 2014

Worldwide phablet shipments (smartphones with screen sizes from 5.1 to 6.9 inches) will reach 175m units worldwide in 2014, passing the 170m portable PCs expected to ship during the same period, according the International Data Corporation's (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker.

Next year, total phablet volumes will top 318m units, surpassing the 233m tablets forecast to ship in 2015.

While phablets are a relatively new category, first picking up volume in 2012, the pressure that the category has placed on the tablet market has already been clearly observed, according to IDC, as the growth of smaller, 7-inch tablets has begun to slow.

The research company expects more consumers to shift back toward larger-sized tablets with their next purchase. However, that trend has not made up for the decreased shipments of smaller sizes, which has resulted in lower overall expectations for the tablet market in 2014 and beyond.

"With Apple expected to join the space in the coming weeks, we anticipate even more attention on phablets as larger-screen smartphones become the new norm," said Melissa Chau, senior research manager with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

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