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Phablets forecast to flourish in Far East and China

Global shipments in phablets are expected to reach 120 million by 2018 due to growing demand in East Asian territories, according to new findings from Juniper Research.

The market for phablets - crossover devices somewhere between a phone and a tablet – was once thought to be of limited potential. However, the desire from smartphone gamers to have a larger surface to play on has led to predictions of exponential market growth.

Gone are the days when mobile phone manufacturers competed to create smaller and smaller devices, since 2008 the average screen size has been increasing (opens in new tab).

The Juniper report, Tablets, phablets, hybrids and eReaders: Market strategies and forecasts 2014-2018 (opens in new tab), estimates that established vendors will look to create flagship phablet models.

"The operating system market for Phablets will be dominated by two major players, Android and Windows," the report notes. "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."

However, the report (opens in new tab) warns that this dynamic may well change if Apple is to introduce its own phablet to the market.

Rumours of a phablet-style device dubbed the iPhone 6 emerged last year, with some reports stating that Apple may look to rival Samsung's Galaxy Note 3. According to sources working for Apple's component suppliers, the tech giant was undergoing trials of screens ranging from 4.8in to 6in for it next major device.