Are 'Phablets' Like Samsung's Galaxy Note a Passing Fad?

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News Posted: Tue, Apr 2 2013 10:46 AM
Recent data released by Flurry Analytics reveals there are now around 1 billion smartphones and tablets in use around the world every month, and as the device base grows, so too does the diversity of screen sizes. That's largely thanks to Android, the most prolific mobile platform on the planet. With so many screen sizes to choose from, which are the most popular?

By far the most dominant segment belongs to "medium phones," which are those that wield screens measuring anywhere from 3.5 inches to 4.9 inches. These account for 69 percent of all device models, and 72 percent of all active users, according to Flurry's data.

Galaxy Note 2

In comparison, so-called phablets (devices with 5-inch to 6.9-inch displays) such as Samsung's Galaxy Note line account for just 2 percent of all device models and 3 percent of all active users. It's the least popular category among the bunch (other categories include small phones, small tablets, and full-size tablets), leading Flurry to refer to phablets as a fad.

"This 'Is it a phone or is it a tablet' devices otherwise known as phablets have attracted interest, but currently command a relatively small share of the device installed base, and their share of active users and sessions is also relatively small," Flurry notes.

The research firm went to say that phablets comprise an "insignificant" portion of the total install base "and do not show disproportionately high enough app usage to justify support." That sounds like an overly harsh statement, and one could argue that phablets would see a surge if more manufacturers offered them. As it stands, Samsung is the primary player in the phablet category, though it will soon see competition from LG.
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i think anybody in his right mind would acknowledge Note 2 as an absolute success

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Shadizzle replied on Tue, Apr 2 2013 11:35 AM

I could easily see this as a fad that will eventually die off to where these devices have their place in certain markets. Coming from both the note and note 2, I really liked its hybrid design of tablet/phone, allowing me to carry one device rather than two for work. Bonus, it still fit in my back pocket..

I got rid of the note 1 for the note 2, because I basically killed the first one, it was just trashed, slow, and nothing was saving it.. At that point I was sick of its size, the phone, and samsungs buggy interface. Figuring that was more a thing of the phone being so shot, at that point I upgraded to the note 2, thinking most my problems will go away due to the hardware and other upgrades. Well needless to say, I was sick of that one just as fast, and it still had its annoying little bugs to it when I was trying to work. It could have been my device, but when you get to a point where dread using it- its got to go.

I recently went back to a smaller 4.x size phone, and I dont think I will go back to anything that big. Having the burden of the note was alot bigger than I had thought after the first year. Really is was ONLY the S-pen suite that held me to it. Good kids entertainment toy otherwise.

Just my 2 cents on it

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That doesn't answer the question though. A fad, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is "a practice or interest followed for a time with exaggerated zeal." You could point to netbooks as a recent example.

Is that what we're seeing with phablets like the Galaxy Note 2, or will these devices stand the test of time? I think it's too early to tell, though a person could make compelling arguments in either direction.

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SmogHog replied on Tue, Apr 2 2013 8:37 PM

Maybe more peeps buy according to price and not by screen size?

I'm a Note II owner and will be a Note III owner.

Naturally,it's not for everyone.

According to wikpedia,Samsung sold 5 million in the 1st 2 months of release.

How many more since then?

Add that to Note 1 numbers and other 'Phablets' like the LG and I think you have more than 2% of 1 billion.

My wife has small hands and prefers her S3 soon to be S4.

I would think there's a lot of devices still in use that are pre Note 1 and we won't know any trend until the overwhelming majority of mobile phone owners have a phone that is Note 1.era or newer.

We also know this is not likely to happen.

There's a lot of PC owners still using XP.


EDIT:the Galaxy Mega 5.8"(GT-I9152) and 6.3"(GT-I9200) smartphones are coming

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sevags replied on Tue, Apr 2 2013 11:17 PM

I really don't think Phablets are a passing fad at all. There are those of us who would welcome a device that merges both their phone and their tablet if they are really carrying around both often, business users can be more productive, those with big pants or women with purses can easily carry them around, and many people don't actually use the voice capabilities of their phones as much and even if they do BT earpieces solves the problem of having top put a near tablet sized device against your face.

I can never own a phablet my ideal sweet spot for a phone is 3.5-4.2" I don't care how cool or what features a larger phone has I will never ever get a phablet.... but it's no passing fad

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OK, English is not my forte :)

I get your point.

I think it is a different situation than that of the netbooks. The netbooks were highly anticipated and maybe disappointed some with the performance and portability and then the tablets exploded , ultrabooks etc

The phablet is around for quite a while with implementations from htc, asus and others and was usually presented as niche device. Recently it has gained a lot of traction due mostly to the actual usability and performance of the devices. But it is a concept proven in the market, not on a flyer. And note 2 certainly has very impressive selling figures.

Is it going to pass? Consider:

- the satisfaction of the Note users, they usually brag about it and have converted people around them after showing off the device. Many say it is not so big after all , it is a relative bargain etc.

-the profile of the user: tech savvy , social media intensive, chat maniac, instant photography lover etc - are there going to be less people of this kind in the future?

I will not get one because of my small hands :) but I think Note 2 and the likes are quite impressive devices. If you want a gadget in your pocket, not just a phone , i don't think you can do any better than this

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