Phablets gaining popularity with consumers

“Phablets” are generating strong consumer buying interest worldwide, particularly in emerging countries, according to Accenture.

Blending smartphone and tablet PC features, phablets have five-to seven inch screen sizes – larger than the four-to-five inches of conventional smartphones.

Accenture conducted an annual online survey of 23,000 consumers aged 14 and older in 23 countries.

Respondents were from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.

The survey revealed that 57% of consumers plan to buy a smartphone this year and, of those, nearly half (48%) prefer to buy a phablet rather than a conventional smartphone.

“The phablet screen size is hitting a sweet spot for a large percentage of consumers wanting more digitally connected lifestyles,” said David Sovie, managing director of Accenture’s communications, media and technology group.

The survey also revealed that consumer preferences for phablets are stronger in emerging countries than developed countries. Of the consumers planning to buy a smartphone, 67% in India, 66% in China and 65% in South Africa said they would prefer to buy a phablet device.

By contrast, consumers in developed countries were less partial to buying phablets. The numbers were pegged at 40% in the US, 30% in Germany, and only 19% in Japan.

“Among emerging markets, the most lucrative opportunity will likely be in China, because it is one of the world’s largest smartphone markets,” said Sovie. “Consumer technology companies need to broaden their phablet product development and sales initiatives to target larger regional markets keen to buy phablets.”

The survey also found that 44% of respondents are planning to buy a tablet PC this year. Of those, 72% prefer the full-size tablets rather than micro-mini-sized versions, compared with 20% who prefer the smaller form factors.



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