While the iPhone is, at least for the moment, the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world when it comes to smartphones, it turns out that consumers are not entirely happy with one of its fundamental qualities: screen size. Weighing in at a diminutive 3.5 inches, Apple has resisted increasing the iPhone’s display size, in spite of the fact that about 90 percent of smartphone users would prefer their devices to fall into the 5 inch range. That said, there’s a rumor going around that Apple has seen the writing on the wall, and is considering a move to 4 inch screens with the iPhone 5. Of course, if we had a nickel for every Apple rumor that never came true, we might just be writing this blog post from our stately seaside mansion in St. Bart’s.
The smartphone market despises a vacuum, and thus manufacturers of Android hardware have been able to establish themselves at the forefront of the Phablet market. What is a Phablet? It’s a fair question, and the name is a bit silly, but a Phablet is essentially a device that’s large enough to behave like a tablet without making you look completely ridiculous when you hold it up to your ear to take a phone call. It is more often than not accompanied by a stylus for easier interaction, but mostly it serves to eliminate the need for two devices where one would do.
The rise of the Phablet is clearly a function of market forces. Apple has yet to make a move to larger smartphones due to the runaway success of the iPad, and Android manufacturers like Samsung, Motorola, and HTC are exploiting the Phablet’s niche because their own tablets fared poorly against their monolithic competitor. Forward-thinking mobile app developers should take note: if current trends are any indication, smartphone users will be getting rid of their smartphones as well as their tablets in favor of the all-in-one Phablet. Mobile app entrepreneurs should consider this when planning development projects for the future.