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The Rise of the 'Phablet'
By: Greg Dorn
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Once upon a time, everyday electronic gadgets were once luxury innovations owned only by the ultra-wealthy and elite organizations. Portable telephones started out at gargantuan sizes. The very earliest computers filled entire rooms. Camera equipment took multiple people to lug around the necessary equipment. One can only imagine that people envisioned a day where cellphones fit perfectly in your pocket, computers could rest comfortably on the normal consumer’s lap, and cameras as small as a deck of cards would hold hundreds of digital pictures. 
 
Fast-forward decades into the future, and many of these aspirations actually came to fruition. As time went on, devices became smaller and smaller, yet more powerful than ever before. An obsession with thinness, portability, and efficiency swept the technology landscape the world over. And now, for the first time in the history of tech, cellphones have done a complete 180. The desire for larger screen sizes on portable telephones, along with the emergence of the smaller tablet, has abruptly spawned a newly penned hybrid known as the “phablet.”
 
One can argue that the popularity of the 7-inch tablet first put these changes into motion. There were those who thought products such as Apple’s iPad (the device that created the tablet marketplace) proved either too big, too expensive, or both. Consequently, smaller and cheaper devices like the Kindle Fire, Nexus 7, and even the iPad mini sparked a major interest in consumers. The craving for screen real estate without compromising portability was obviously present. And so when Samsung, the company that is widely credited with increasing phone sizes, introduced the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note in late 2011, consumers saw that it was possible to posses the best of both worlds.
 
Since then, we have seen the release of the Galaxy Note II, measuring in at a staggering size of 5.5-inches. To put things into perspective, that is only 1.5-inches smaller than the leading 7-inch tablets (and 75% larger than the original iPhone screen). Needless to say, the gap between smartphones and tablets is narrowing at a rapid pace. Once deemed silly to see someone hold such a monstrous device up to their ear, the trend tells a different story. According to a study found in The Wall Street Journal, the shipment of smartphones with screens 4.6-inches or larger increased from 1.8 million in 2011 to 82.7 million in 2012.
 
Back when people were content with pint-sized flip phones fitting securely in our pockets, it’s hard to imagine this current revolution of the enormous phablet. Sure, it can be difficult to fit them in our jeans or purse, but this unforeseen reversal in cellphone size is what the consumers want. And when the consumer craves, the consumer shall receive.


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About the Author
Greg Dorn is a blogger, writer, and obsessed with everything technology and social media. Greg is absolutely captivated with the recent advancements in mobile gadgets, making our world more seamlessly connected. You can learn more about him on his own blog here
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