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Phablets surpass tablet, portable PC shipments in Asia

Posted: 03 Sep 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:phablets? tablets? portable PC?

According to International Data Corp. (IDC), device vendors shipped 25.2 million phablets in 2Q13, compared with 12.6 million tablets and 12.7 million portable PCs. Phablets made a notable jump, up by 100 per cent QoQ, and up 620 per cent for the same quarter in 2012, added the market research firm.

"Samsung was the first to succeed in phablets with the Galaxy Note launched in APEJ in 4Q11, capturing 90 per cent of the phablet market. Fast forward to 2Q13, and Samsung's Note series counts for less than 50 per cent," said Senior Research Manager Melissa Chau.

"Phablets first started as a trend driven by mature markets like South Korea, Hong Kong and Singaporeand these markets continue to rise. What's changed now is the added pick up of phablets in emerging markets such as China and India, not just the plethora of big-name vendors competing head-to-head with Samsung, but instead the low-cost local players who have swooped in to offer big screens for less moneyaveraging a retail price of $220 versus Samsung's $557."

By comparison, the growth of tablets has taken a hit in Q2, in part due to high inventory carry over from Q1, the seasonal lull in Apple's iPad refresh cycle, combined with some cannibalisation of tablets by phablets. Particularly in emerging markets, where consumers may not have the budget to pick up one of each, the phablet is winning out to capture both the telephony and better browsing and multimedia experience.

The outlook for all three of these categories are positive for rest of this year. IDC expects interest in portable PCs to pick up as more hybrid and touch-enabled models launch, while tablets will pick up on the launch of Apple's refreshed models and continued growth in the 7-9in category.

Phablets have proven to be more than just a short blip of a fad and will drive the region. Over the long term however, this does not mean that one size fits all. As tablets get more productive, and new categories such as smart watches evolve, IDC expects continued diversity among smart connected devices.

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