If you think phablets—those oversized smartphones such as the one Apple is rumored to be planning for next month—are gauche, get over it. In the second quarter of this year, device-makers shipped 13.8 million full-size tablets in the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan). One out of every four of those came with the ability to make voice calls, according to IDC, a research firm.
That’s at least 3.4 million tablets being held up to people’s faces as they attempt to talk through something the size of a magazine. Nearly 10 million of these things have been sold over the past year. We’re going to need a new word to describe them, because they’re too big to be phablets: Phatlets? Tabphones?
IDC attributes the popularity of phablets, and now these super-sized versions, to the Asian consumer’s desire to have one device that does everything. “This shift highlights the sustained interest among consumers, at least in emerging markets, to have a single mobile device for all their needs—be it watching movies and soap operas, taking pictures, texting or making calls, even if the device has a huge 7” screen on it. It also helps that these devices are quite affordable, playing in the entry-to-mainstream price bands in most markets,” according to Avinash Sundaram, an IDC analyst.