As indicated in a blog post recently published by CCS Insight, phablets (or smartphone devices that feature big display screens) could have a significant positive impact on the business of gadget vendors and mobile operators, despite the fact that these devices are contributing immensely in driving down the popularity of tablets.
The most popular mobile phones used to be the small and handy ones, but things have changed since Apple first released its iPhone 6 Plus model almost three years ago. Since then, every other phone maker has been trying to offer a flagship phablet that not only offers generous display screen real estate, but also high end specifications and features. And mobile users are increasingly preferring them.
And it helps a lot that a number of mobile manufacturers have discovered the advantages of going for a bezel-less design, wherein they can build a smartphone device that offers the most screen space on its front side. CCS was quick to point out one of Samsung’s current flagship offerings, the Galaxy S8 Plus, as an example -- the phablet delivers 6.2 inches of screen at a ratio of 18:9. And later this year, Samsung fans will be treated to the newest addition to the South Korean tech giant’s Galaxy Note lineup of smartphones, the Galaxy Note 8, which many expect will even surpass the Galaxy S8 Plus in terms of screen size. CCS also anticipates that LG’s next V phablet (the V30, which will debut this coming August 31st) will also likely be equipped with a 6 inch or larger display screen.
CCS has also noticed that not only do phablets come with heftier price tags, they actually also drive higher average revenue per user (ARPU), because consumers who own big screen devices are more likely to use up data (especially when consuming media on mobile). With the higher prices, wireless carriers are granted more opportunities to sell phablets on installment plans, which not only last longer, but also encourage people to stay with the carrier, thereby minimizing customer turnover.
And while it is true that phablets may have done their part in reducing tablet sales, these devices may also help increase demand for smaller handsets and other devices in use care scenarios wherein carrying a 6 inch phone is not ideal. The idea of multi-device ownership is nothing new, but people always can not carry phablets around (especially when going out for a jog). This is where the popularity of phablets can also help improve the popularity of smaller phones, feature phones, and even wearable devices. And some operators are already encouraging multi-device ownership -- T-Mobile, for example, has a Digits plan that allows users to share a contact number across other wireless gadgets.
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