Thursday, December 13, 2012

Samsung to Build Galaxy Note III with 6.3-Inch Screen?

The upcoming Galaxy Note III will feature a 6.3-inch screen using an OLED display, Korea Times reports. 

That is going to blur the line between the biggest-screen smart phones and the smallest-screen tablets even further. 

To be sure, some are skeptical about the new form factor. As with "tablets" themselves, many in the past have tried to create such a device, and largely failed. 

But ABI Research 208 million "phablets" will be shipped in 2015, globally. Of course, much could depend on how one defines a "phablet." ABI Research reserves that category for devices with phone functionality and a touch screen between 4.6 and 5.5 inches. 

That wouldn't be a phablet, that's just a smart phone, in my estimation. But users will decide. Somewhere between a seven-inch screen, the present low end of tablets, and five or so inches, the current high end of smart phone screens, is where the issue has to be decided. 

It may come down to how many users want a communicating tablet that is highly portable, versus users who want a Web-oriented phone. Some of us might harken back a few years, when the primary reason for using a smart phone was to get mobile email.

For some of us, there came a time when easy "Web" use became important, then more important than email, and that's when some of us might have decided it was time to ditch the BlackBerry. 

These days, though I find I expect my smart phone to work as a phone, more of the mission critical functionality continues to migrate to Web and apps, where a larger screen really makes a difference, and where one expects an app to work pretty much the same on the smart phone screen as it does on a larger-screen device. 

Portability is important, which is why some of us always thought a seven-inch tablet would be well received by a significant portion of the user base. These days, though, "device creep" can be an issue.

For many people who travel, for example, or who work outside the office, a tablet is a reasonable substitute for a notebook. That is not an option for some of us, who still wind up traveling with a notebook, one or two smart phones, then a tablet and an MP3 player (the smallest possible unit that can be clipped on running shorts). As always, the ability to ditch at least of those devices is helpful and valuable. 

That's a bit of a niche, but some of us still would say there is a market for smart phones with big screens, if only because of the growing importance of things we need to do with screens, as opposed to "phones."

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