We have the mobile phone, laptop/desktop, tablet/netbooks and now the “phablet”. Part mobile phone, part tablet–the phablet is my word (and others) (i.e., category definition) for this new type of device. I read a recent FierceWireless article (Rumor Mill: Apple working on 7-inch iPad) that talked about the a new smaller iPad. I don’t get it. If you have a mobile, laptop/desktop and/nor a tablet/netbook, why would you want a 7″ device that wants to be a phone and a tablet. I do admit that I had a similar reaction to the iPad / tablet category. However this time I am really struggling to discern the segmentation fit for the phablet. With an expected 60M netbooks to ship this year and the competitive entrants trying to match Apple’s 3M+ iPads sold, it’s hard to believe that a new device category that is so similar yet different in many significant ways will be able to grab share of the connected device market. What puzzles me the most are the differentiated features of the phablet from it’s adjacent competitive device categories are not compelling at all. Two prime differences are:
- A phablet is a phone, but will I really use a 7″ phone?
- A phablet is an internet reader, but I would rather have a larger display for reading (i.e., otherwise I can use my mobile).
I think these two example above that make the phablet different are also the most likely reasons the new device category will fail. Although time will tell if I missed the mark.