It's a phone! It's a tablet! It's the future of mobile devices! Sorry people with tiny hands, it looks like phablets are not going away; in fact, they are on pace to pass laptops and tablets in sales over the next two years, according to market research firm IDC. Most people think of them as really, really big phones. IDC defines them as a smartphone measuring diagonally between 5.5 inches and 7 inches. The new curved Samsung Galaxy Note Edge (5.6 inches) fits that definition. So does Apple's larger iPhone 6, which will reportedly measure 5.5 inches.
IDC expects 175 million of them to ship in 2014, beating laptops over that same period by 5 million. That number is expected to jump in 2015 to 318 million — far more than the 233 million tablets that are forecast to ship. Their falling prices and popularity in markets like China could mean the phablet craze is just beginning.
— Keith Wagstaff
First published September 3 2014, 2:49 PM