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Some of us aren't convinced that phablets will last as more than a short-term success. That hasn't stopped ABI Research from predicting that enough of the size XXL smartphones will sell to block all natural sunlight. The study team sees phones like the Galaxy Note and Optimus Vu as just the start, with help from Huawei, HTC and others leading to a crescendo of 208 million phablets shipped in 2015 alone. Of course, as with many of these predictions, the estimate is based on a little bit of knowledge and a lot of speculation about the market's tastes: the researchers have a hunch that the values of navigation, reading and the web will steer us to big screens, and they're including devices just over 4.6 inches like the One X or the upcoming Galaxy S III. There's a bit of evidence to support the claims -- Samsung sold five million Notes in five months, and HTC has seen some brisk One X sales -- but that's still no guarantee that regular-sized smartphones will have to fight in the shade.

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Phablets, like the Samsung Galaxy Note, Will Surpass 208 Million Device Shipments Annually in 2015

LONDON - May 23, 2012

​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.

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. Additionally, another phablet smartphone was released earlier this month, the Samsung Galaxy S3.

"One of the chief drivers for phablets is the amount of time people use their smartphones for web browsing, reading articles and newspapers on the go, or simply navigating their journeys," says senior analyst Joshua Flood. "The larger screen sizes make a significant difference to the user's experience when compared to conventional-sized touchscreens between 3.5 to 4 inches." Additionally, new phablet-styled devices provide an attractive two-in-one device proposition and are beginning to see the competition between these larger smartphone form factors and smaller media tablets (less than seven inches).

Phablets are defined as having a touch screen size between 4.6 to 5.5 inches. Global shipments for phablets will increase by a factor of 10 in 2012 from 2011.

ABI Research's "Phablets and Super Smartphones" details phablet smartphones and super smartphones and examines the potential opportunities each of these new smartphones offer. The report goes into further detail on segmentation of smartphone screen sizes and presents detailed information on super smartphones, regional opportunities, and total market sizes by revenue and shipments.

It is part of ABI Research's Smartphones & Mobile Devices Research Service.