Fast Stats: Phablets Take Off; Digital Hand-Me-Downs
What’s next for phablets, those bulky amalgams of smartphones and tablets that became the talk of tech in 2012? According to a report from BI Intelligence, sales of devices with 5-plus inch screens (like the Galaxy Note) will take off over the next couple of years, with one source (Barclays) predicting global shipments increasing from 143 million units this year to 228 million in 2015.
Phablets first became popular in Asia, and the report expects emerging markets to play a major role in this growth. Many consumers around the world are “mobile-first” Internet users, and therefore more likely to choose these affordable, hybrid devices.
Source: BI Intelligence report, “The Mobile Industry: In-Depth,” released in February.
You know the digital reading market is beginning to mature when we can start talking about “hand-me-down” devices. According to research firm NextMarket Insights, 4.5 million e-reading devices became hand-me-downs in 2012 as household members moved on to new gadgets, usually trading their dedicated e-readers for tablets. “Consumers in households with multiple e-readers are twice as likely as those without to use an iPad as their primary e-reading device,”according to Michael Wolf, chief analyst at NextMarket.
Another trend is the use of smartphones for reading: 7% of respondents to a survey say their smartphone is their primary e-reading device.
Don’t write off dedicated e-readers like Amazon’s Kindle yet, though. Wolf says 4 out of 10 single e-reader households still rely on an e-ink Kindle (i.e. not the Fire) for digital reading.
Source: Report from NextMarket Insights, “The e-book consumer 2013,” based on a survey of over 1200 e-reading households in the US conducted at the end of 2012.
- James Sturdivant