Can Phablets Replace Tablets? (And Smartphones Too)

I'd like to think of the iPad mini as the perfect gadget. It's light, fast, it runs my favorite mobile operating system, has the biggest productivity apps collection, big enough to type quickly (almost like a full sized tablet), small enough to be carried around easily, and the battery lasts long enough for my needs.

And yet, I am barely using it lately.

Why? Because for the past 6 months or so I'm using a phablet.

It's a Windows Phone Lumia 1520, a 6 inch phablet beast.

Lumia 1520 mobilespoon

I cannot say it has enough capabilities to beat the iPad mini (in fact, you all know Windows Phone bleeds painfully when it comes to apps, so I had to get creative to fulfill my needs: switched from EverNote to OneNote, dumped in favor of Wunderlist, and found some alternative rss readers to replace Feedly), and yet I barely use my iPad since I got the Lumia 1520.

According to an interesting study by Accenture, 50% of consumers worldwide who are looking to buy a new smartphone would prefer a bigger screened phablet. The study also found that consumers in emerging markets like India, China and South Africa were more likely to want a phablet (almost 70%) and not a smartphone and avoid purchasing the tablet completely.

I tried to think of the reasons for me to stop using the iPad mini:

  1. Every night I need to charge my phone, my beloved Microsoft Band, and my laptop. It's annoying and I often forget the iPad mini, who's kind of left behind. The more I forget it, the more it remains drained out, the less I use it...
  2. Walking around the office I often need to carry my laptop with me, and of course I need my smartphone (currently a phablet), and I definitely don't plan to carry 3 devices everywhere I go. The iPad loses again.
  3. I can type really fast with the iPad (both normal size and mini), however, when I lie down or carry it on the move, typing becomes a serious challenge. Typing with a phablet is done with both thumbs, just like a smaller smartphone, which means it can be done when lying down or on the move. The iPad is often mentioned as the perfect reading device, but in my case a lot of reading sessions end up with some writing as well, and in some scenarios the phablet is actually better.

The bottom line is that phablets can do almost anything tablets do and still operate as great smartphones.

For many people it means 2 for 1. For me it's just a matter of continence.

So tablets are facing their first threat; On one hand, a growing number of phablets, increasing their popularity worldwide. On the other hand, compact, lightweight, long lasting laptops.

The tablets numbers are already decreasing, and it will be interesting to see if they evolve enough to remain attractive or continue to slow down.