One of the biggest growth areas in the mobile industry is the burgeoning sales of “phablets”, the nickname for smartphones with screen sizes varying from 5,5 inches to less than 7 inches.These units will outsell portable PCs during 2015, says Christopher Riley, CEO of The Notebook Company, adding: “Phablets are giving users a higher level of functionality – of applications – that literally give them a ‘computer-in-the-hand.”

But, while phablets will out gun tablets and portable PCs, or laptops, in the sales department, Riley says the marketplace should not write off laptops “just yet”.

“There are some things that a phablet just cannot do – and this is when you need a laptop,” he says. One of the functions where a phablet falls down is when it comes to generating Word documents.

The International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that phablet sales will top 318-million units, surpassing the 233-million tablet expected to be shipped during 2015.

IDC also predicts that phablets will grow from 14% of the worldwide smartphone market in 2014 to 32,2% in 2018.

But it is also expected that the high level of phablet sales will not mark the end for smart phones. IDC believes that, regardless of size, the smart phone – in many instances – will remain the device of choice.