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Phabets (anything with a phone screen above 5-inches), which have recently becomes the standard high-end offerings from phone manufacturers, will cannibalize into the market share of tablets over the next 12-18 months says research firm IDC.
"A new round of device cannibalisation is also expected to kick in, but this time with large-screen (5-plus inch) smartphones beginning to impact the smaller (7-8 inch) tablet market," IDC said.
Phablets are generally designed to offer the the functionality of a phone along with all the features offered by tablets. This means that their abundant display screens (usually 5inches -8 inches) are designed to deliver a multimedia experience that's on par with tablets. And by keeping screen size within a palms grasp, they make great calling devices as well.
While this might come as bad news for tablets, there's also some good news for the slates. IDC is also forecasting that the Christmas sale will 84.1m tablets sold in the fourth quarter of the year, against 83.1m PCs. This news does not come as a surprise since PC sales have hit all times lows in the first two quarter of 2013. Further more, the trend is said to quicken in pace since more and more consumers have radically changed their computing habits, causing them to abandon laptops for sleeker, lighter tablets.
While PC manufacturers like HP and Dell are suffering due to this trend, it happens to be a huge boost for tablet manufacturers like Apple and Samsung. Players like Sony and Acer are playing it safe by offering products in both categories. IDC has predicted that this short-term boost from holiday sales would lead tablet sales to overtake PCs temporarily. However, in 2015, it expects tablets to outsell PCs again, thereby resulting in a permanent shift.