208 million annual shipments of Phone/Tablet Hybrids by 2015

ABI Research – More than 208 million phablets, a hybrid device that is larger than a smartphone but smaller than a tablet, like the Samsung Galaxy Note, will be shipped globally in 2015. The category includes smartphones and tablet devices in the 4.6 to 5.5 inch screen size range.

We recently covered the Samsung Galaxy S3 (4.8 inch screen) and the expected Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (5.5 inch screen)

Despite the slow start for phablet smartphones in 2011, the market is at the dawn of the phablet era. HTC, LG, and Huawei will each introduce phablet smartphones in 2012, joining the ranks of Samsung’s Galaxy Note and Nexus.

The 5.3 inch Galaxy Note beside an iPhone 4S

By ABI Research’s definitions, many recent Android smartphones would fall into the ‘phablet’ category, such as the LG Optimus Vu, HTC One X, the HTC One XL on ATT, the HTC EVO 4G LTE on Sprint, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and the Samung Galaxy S III.

Gigaom – With rich media consumption on the rise on mobile devices — particularly as we get faster 4G networks and more Wi-Fi networks to supplement them — a larger display is desirable. The same can be said for Web browsing, which is one of the most popular activities on a mobile: Why scroll and zoom when a larger display minimizes such efforts?

Provided these handsets are still pocketable, consumers will adopt them because they combine the portability of a smartphone with the more immersive experience found in a tablet. That’s not to say 10-inch slate sales will fall; these fit a totally different use case for most, as they are less portable and are better suited for casual computing or consumption in a given location. A recent Viacom study, for example, found that 74 percent of tablet use is in the home.

HTC has indicated that they will launch a Note competitor.

BGR – The HTC device is said to feature a whopping 5-inch 1080p HD display (a non-PenTile screen), a new chipset that includes a quad-core Krait CPU and an Adreno 320 GPU, HTC Sense 5 and a Scribe pen.

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