Do Phablets Cannibalize Tablet Sales?

The Samsung Galaxy Note was the first successful “phablet” (a smart phone with a big screen). Notably, though Flurry suggests about seven percent of devices globally are phablets, in South Korea the percentage of phablets is 41 percent.

Also notably, the use of phablets seems to depress adoption of tablets. Globally, 19 percent of the devices tracked by Flurry are tablets, compared to only five percent  in South Korea.

That might suggest that phablets cannibalize some amount of tablet demand.

Even as growth in its domestic market has slowed, Samsung continues to dominate the South Korean connected device market. It had a 60 percent share of a random sample of devices tracked by Flurry in South Korea that run iOS or Android apps.

Between them, two other South Korean device manufacturers, LG and Pantech, had another 25 percent of the market, meaning that the vast majority of the smartphones and tablets being used in South Korea (85 percent) are manufactured in South Korea.

That dominance of local manufacturers is unique in the world, so there is room to disagree about whether the phablet trend will reach similar levels, or whether tablet demand also will be affected in the same way.


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