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6-inch ‘super phablets’ to become mainstream: report

By Korea Herald

Published : July 30, 2017 - 14:46

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Upcoming smartphone models are expected to adopt six-inch or larger screens, as more and more users prefer consumption of multimedia content on their handheld gadgets, according to market sources Sunday.

The “super phablets,” whose screens are larger than six inches, are forecast to account for 4.3 percent of total smartphone sales this year, selling about 66 million units, showed a report by US market researcher Strategy Analytics.

The phablet is a combination of the phone and tablet, referring to large-size smartphones. 

The low-cost bezel-less smartphone Q6 series launched by LG Electronics on Sunday is displayed. (LG Electronics) The low-cost bezel-less smartphone Q6 series launched by LG Electronics on Sunday is displayed. (LG Electronics)


New mobile devices slated for launches in the coming fall -- Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8, Apple’ iPhone 8 and LG’s V30 -- are all projected to adopt displays larger than six inches, according to market forecasts, driving the sales of the phablets.

Given that the phablets claimed a 2.3 percent market share last year, the nearly doubled growth is considered a noticeable trend in the market in accordance with growing consumption of media content on mobile devices.

Samsung introduced a 6.3-inch model called “Galaxy Mega” in 2013 and LG launched 6-inch G Flex, but sales of the bigger-size models were low at the time.

However, what makes smartphone manufacturers introduce larger devices these days is the bezel-less design that has become the hottest feature this year.

By reducing the bezel areas, manufacturers are able to adopt bigger display panels and keep the total size of a smartphone similar to previous models.

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 featured the Infinity Display with an 18.5-to-9 ratio, while LG’s G6 sported the Full Vision Display with an 18-to-9 ratio early this year.

According to the SA report, sales volume of such super phablets are estimated to be 89.1 million units next year and reach 110 million by 2019, occupying about 6 percent of the smartphone market.

For the next five years, the annual growth of the 6-inch devices is forecast to be about 20 percent, showing the steepest growth among competitive devices.

“The bezel-less design will be used for not only premium, but also low-cost smartphones, contributing to expanding the market share,” said an industrial source.

Reflecting the trend, LG on Sunday launched the budget smartphone model Q6 that also features a bezel-less 5.5-inch Full Vision Display at 419,100 won ($372.50) for the domestic market.

By Song Su-hyun (song@heraldcorp.com)