Having created the tablet market with the iPad, Apple has been woefully slow into Phablets. As yet it does not have a large screen smartphone (a plus 5.6 inch display). But unless Apple acts quickly the Phablet market will shape up into a two horse race, without iOS.
In other words, the large screen form would bring about a surprise revival for Windows in a fast growing market.
The report, Tablets, Phablets, Hybrids & eReaders: Market Strategies & Forecasts 2014-2018, predicts that the market will grow to 120 million annual device sales by 2018, up from 20 million in 2013. Set alongside that, here are some predictions on the tablet market:
Worldwide tablet shipments are expected to reach 221 million units in 2013, up 54 percent on year, IDC forecasts. Next year, shipment growth is projected to slow to 22 percent on-year to a total of 271 million units. And by 2017, annual market growth will slow to single-digit percentages, the research firm said.
The reality is the fast developing markets like China, which Apple is trying to woo, make far more use of large screen applications like streaming services and games.
Research from GlobalWebIndex, shared with me last week, suggests also that there is a strong trend towards device sharing in these markets. In other words the household acquires on of each -tablet, laptop, Phablet.
So the overall position is that the tablet market is slowing down in favor of a growing Phablet market, with device sharing a more common habit.
In that context, rumors have surfaced of a May and a Fall 2014 launch for an Apple Phablet, though Apple has confirmed neither.
There’s no question that Cupertino is going to be late to a party that will be in full swing by the time a large screen iPhone 6 launches. But there is a real kicker in there too. According to Juniper unless Apple acts:
….the OS market for Phablets will be dominated by two major players, Android and Windows. The Windows ecosystem will be driven by Nokia’s Lumia range, which is anticipated to find success in the more affluent demographics of developing nations. Meanwhile, the Android ecosystem will be driven by the latest in Samsung’s Note series in developed markets as well as local vendors such as Intex.
A mobile device market that is not shared out between iOS and Android? Unthinkable.