Good news for Samsung and, if rumors are true, Apple: a new study released this week suggests that U.S. consumers are clamoring for phablet-sized smartphones. It reveals that now, more than ever, is the appropriate time for smartphone makers to release the larger-screened devices, aptly named for their resemblance to a smartphone/tablet hybrid.
Accenture found that 40 percent of U.S. smartphone buyers want to purchase a phablet the next time they buy a new smartphone. 48 percent of all consumers around the globe are in the same boat, and 57 percent of the global consumer base is ready to upgrade this year. That shows just how important the next six months are going to be for smartphone makers, particularly those that create phablets — and those who don't yet, like Apple.
"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. "To capitalize on this, consumer technology companies should consider adjusting their digital strategies, research and development investments, product roadmaps and supply chains to focus more on phablet business opportunities and less so, in some cases, on the conventional smartphone market."
The next big phablets rumored to hit the market are the Galaxy Note 4, likely due out during IFA in September, and Apple's rumored 5.5-inch iPhone 6, which is also expected to launch in September. It would be wise of both firms to make those devices widely available, too. Accenture found that the markets most excited for phablets are Turkey, where 64 percent of customers want a phablet, followed by Indonesia (61 percent), South Korea (51 percent), Russia (50 percent) and the UAE (50 percent).