Phablets Become More Tempting for Business

CIOs might want to start considering the elimination of tablets from the workplace in favor of phablets: smart phones with larger screens that are being heralded for their dual capabilities. Why have two devices when one can do the trick?

“The rise of phablets – smartphones with 5.5-inch and larger screens – are causing many people to second-guess tablet purchases as the larger screens on these phones are often adequate for tasks once reserved for tablets,” said Tom Mainelli, Program Vice President, Devices & Displays at International Data Corporation, which provides projections on the annual tablet market.

BusinessInsider.com in a special report, says, “Despite all of the ridicule and head-shaking they caused when they came out a few years ago, phablets have been on fire, proving that calls for their immediate death were undoubtedly premature. According to Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes, between 2012 and 2015, sales of phablets are expected to grow from 27 to 230 million units.”

At the 2014 Mobile World Congress, Geoff Blaber, vice president of research at CCS Insight, said he anticipates seeing continued innovation around the Internet of Things and LTE wireless capabilities, plus a spotlight on security. “Security will undoubtedly be a key theme,” he said in the article, particularly around making Android OS-powered devices secure for workplaces. “There’s a clear opportunity for those who can address the Android security issue.”

The Business Insider article also quotes Mark Hackman who “wrote at PC World that there’s a race ‘toward a more robust 64-bit environment, with the goal of future-proofing tablet performance. In general, that means giving them the potential to address memory beyond 4GB of RAM, and also providing consistency with other 64-bit applications that already exist on the PC.’”

The PC World article further elaborated. “Microsoft has shipped a 64-bit-compatible version of Windows since 2005, when the company released a version of Windows XP for the new 64-bit Athlon 64 processor from AMD. Software developers (often without much fanfare) began migrating their software from 32 bits to 64 bits. The shift didn’t happen overnight. Microsoft’s Office 2010, for example, installed a 32-bit version by default even if your PC used a 64-bit chip. It was an attempt to cut down or eliminate software incompatibilities. But, in general, Windows apps that need to be 64-bit have already been re-coded for 64-bit technology.”

Also, the PC World article continues, ” … there’s another element that’s been missing from Android, which Intel may supply as well: a secure container for enterprise applications and data. It’s a key conundrum of the BYOD trend: Users want to bring their Android devices into the enterprise, and the enterprises want to ensure that these random phones and tablets don’t prove to be conduits for sensitive data to the outside world. For many, NitroDesk’s TouchDown app fills the bill, and Samsung has developed its own technology, known as Knox, for its latest Galaxy phones.

The Phablet market for business could be greatly enhanced if Apple comes out with the Apple iPhone 6 in September with a 5.5-inch screen. Some have already dubbed it the Apple iPhablet.

Another BusinessInsider.com article reports that Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White says, ” … accessory makers are increasing production of products that fit a 5.5-inch iPhone. Therefore, despite rumors to the contrary, Apple might just have an iPhablet ready by September.”

White adds, “Also at Computex, we noticed that a few vendors had already started work on accessories for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 and the pieces were available at the show. Given the lack of data points in recent months around progress with the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 and growing skepticism in the media around a 2014 launch, we view this as a positive development. Based on today’s research, we believe the timing of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 launch appears to be in sync with our expectation around the unveiling (i.e., September) of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6.”

Keith Griffin
Keith Griffin is an award-winning business writer and editor with more than 30 years experience as a journalist. His work has been published in The Boston Globe, Medical Economist, Good Housekeeping, About.com, the Hartford Courant, CT Law Tribune and numerous other regional publications.