While tablet sales seem to be stagnating at best, its smaller cousin – the phablet – seems to be moving to fill the breach.
This is the word from Chistopher Riley, CEO of The Notebook Company, who says customers appear to be turning away from the iPad in favour of the “phablet”, including the iPhone 6s and 6s plus. Some people might think this is a bit odd as the iPhones cost so much for what could be construed as “so little”.
“But, whichever way you look at it, statistics don’t lie – and it seems that the popularity of the once mighty iPad has faded.”
Statistics from MarketWatch show that Apple’s iPad sales are also plummeting. Indeed, sales of iPads plunged by a large 25% over the festive season – apparently the lowest in five years. Not since 2011, when the product was still fairly new, have sales been so low.
“Part of this decline can be put at the feet of the phablet, even though a phablet has limitations – it is too small for a computer and too big for a phone,” Riley explains. “Having said this, they are large enough to be used as a ‘quasi’ tablet, and are still small enough to fit in a pocket.”
Additionally, the screen size enables people to read – and the phablet, in this regard, can actually rival e-readers. End users can also write on a phablet, although in a limited fashion.
“This is unless a user carries with him a full-sized Bluetooth keyboard. The Swype keyboard,” says Riley, works quite well – but this is basically for minor writing tasks.
A tablet with a 7-inch screen is normally lugged around in a bag, while the 6-inch phone/phablet can be carried in a pocket. Reading e-books, keeping up with news and playing Android games is also all possible on a phablet. The biggest bugbear is the limited writing capability.
Phablets currently boast screens that are almost the same size as tablets. They also have a better screen resolution – and can even compete with full-sized monitors.  Because of this, the phablet might become the gadget of choice for e-reading – which is a growing market.
“Some users might find a phablet a bit too big to be used effortlessly as a phone. But portability – the ease of it – seems to be a big positive factor,” Riley says.
“While we are seeing a drop in tablet sales, there is a rise on sale of more expensive tablets at the moment. However, whichever way you look at it, the iPad seems to be struggling with stagnating, or dropping, sales – and the phablet seems to be pushing itself to the fore.”