Technalysis Research
Previous Blogs

August 19, 2014
Device Usage Diversity

August 12, 2014
New Life for the PC

August 5, 2014
Hot Items for the Holidays: Large Phones, Notebooks and Smart TVs

July 29, 2014
Smartphones: Life's Remote Control

July 22, 2014
The Joy of Vintage Tech

July 15, 2014
Digital Generation Gap

July 8, 2014
Virtualization Reborn

July 1, 2014
Portable Digital Identities

June 24, 2014
The Future of UI: Contextual Intelligence

June 17, 2014
Moving to Markets of One

June 16, 2014
Insider Extra: Dell and the Battle for Business

June 10, 2014
Screen Overload to Drive Screen-less Devices

June 3, 2014
Apple Drives Vision of Seamless Multi-Device Computing

May 27, 2014
Surface Pro 3: The Future of PCs?

May 22, 2014
Insider Extra: SanDisk: The Many Faces of Flash

May 20, 2014
The Technological Divining Rod

May 13, 2014
Computing in the Cloud

May 6, 2014
Device Usage a Question of Degree

April 29, 2014
The Next Smartphone Battleground: Durability

April 22, 2014
BYOD: A Work in Progress

April 18, 2014
Insider Extra: AMD Back in the Groove

April 15, 2014
The Mobility Myth

April 9, 2014
BYOD Dilemma: Devices vs. Data

April 8, 2014
Insider Extra: Qualcomm's Evolving Story

April 1, 2014
A Wearables Forecast

March 25, 2014
Measuring Success in Wearables? It's Thousands of Thousands

March 24, 2014
Insider Extra: Intel Strategy Moves Forward

March 18, 2014
IOT: Islands of Isolated Things?

March 11, 2014
Wearables Cautionary Tale

March 4, 2014
The New Platform Battle

February 25, 2014
Watch What Happens

February 18, 2014
Talkin' 'bout Touchpads

February 11, 2014
The MultiOS Conundrum

February 4, 2014
Computing Redefined

January 28, 2014
The Apple Problem

January 21, 2014
The 2-in-1s People Might Want

January 14, 2014
The Post Tablet Era

January 7, 2014
The Innovation Asymptote

December 31, 2013
Top 5 2014 Predictions

December 17, 2013
Holiday Shoppers Gifting Themselves

December 10, 2013
Companion Apps

December 3, 2013
Aisle Check

TECHnalysis Research Blog

August 26, 2014
Phablets—aka Pocket Computers—Drive New World Order

I’m writing this week’s column from the comfort of my hotel room in Shenzen China, where I just witnessed first-hand the evolutionary wave that has begun to take over the world of smart connected devices: phablets are king. Everywhere I turned in one of the many buildings stuffed full of electronics products and components for which this very large (~10.5 million), surprisingly affluent city is famous, I found more evidence.

It wasn’t just the large-screen dominated selection of legitimate and knock-off phones offered by hundreds of different small vendors, it was also the comparative scarcity of tablets—especially the 7” varieties which this region was famous for producing. Don’t get me wrong, they were still there—as well as lots of tablet component parts—but nowhere near the level of mobile phones. In fact, in my tours of several buildings, I’d put it even lower than the amount of PCs and related components.

The final form of evidence came in the form of the iPhone 6, which is poised to bring a whole new level of legitimacy and interest in the large-screen smartphone market. As I expected, I saw a whole range of vendors offering iPhone 6 cases for sale—theoretically sized to match up with the leaked specs for the device.

But what caught me off guard, were all the vendors actually offering iPhone 6 phones—or at least what they claimed were iPhone 6s. Having done a bit more digging, I’m now pretty convinced they were Goophone’s i6 knockoffs. Still, when one booth worker pulled a roughly 4.7” screen-based device out from behind their glass case and turned it on and I watched what certainly looked like iOS booting up, I have to admit I started to wonder. (Unfortunately, I only got to look at it for a few seconds, but I did notice an OS version of 7.1.4 on the About screen, which suggests a jailbroken version of the OS.)

Regardless of the device’s authenticity (and again—very unlikely to be the real McCoy), seeing an Apple-looking device of that size (as well as even larger), lined up against the other larger-screen smartphone competitors reinforced the fact that a larger-screen iPhone is likely to be a monstrous hit for Apple here in China and probably in many other places around the world.
Tie that together with the research I wrote about a few weeks ago (see ”Hot Items for the Holidays: Large Phones, Notebooks and Smart TVs”) which clearly showed strong pent-up demand for larger smartphones among consumers around the world and, well, you don’t have a guarantee, but it sure makes the odds increase.

On top of that, we’ve got reported numbers of increasing PC sales and flat to declining tablets sales through the first half of the year and several supply chain-related news tidbits suggesting those trends should last at least through the end of the calendar year.

The end result? I think it will lead to some fairly dramatic shifts in the devices markets as we have known them. I’ll talk more about this next week when I unveil the updated TECHnalysis Research forecasts on PCs, tablets and smartphones, but the gist of it is pretty easy to guess: big smartphones will move the balance of power to themselves and away from smaller smartphones and smaller tablets. In the process, they’ll actually end up helping boost the PC market, as both consumers and enterprise buyers start to recognize the potential synergies of combining a large smartphone and a touch-equipped, but clamshell-focused notebook.
Looks to me like we’re in for some important changes over the next few years….

I spotted two Rolls Royces in 30 minutes, not to mention Porsches, Jaguars and Maseratis, as well as lots of Audis, Mercedes and BMWs….

Here's a link to the original column:

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