Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Phablets such as the 5.9-inch HTC One Max, above, are becoming more popular because the combine biggers screens the functionality of mobile phones. Sarah Dea / The National
Phablets such as the 5.9-inch HTC One Max, above, are becoming more popular because the combine biggers screens the functionality of mobile phones. Sarah Dea / The National

Phablets emerge in Middle East as demand increases

Taiwan’s HTC rolls out its latest phablet, the 5.9-inch One Max as shipments of the device overtake laptop and tablet deliveries in the second quarter.

Several new phablets – phone and tablet hybrids – will arrive in the Middle East over the next month as manufacturers seek to segment the smart-devices market and carve out new niches.

Taiwan’s HTC has rolled out its latest phablet, a 5.9-inch device called One Max. It has the computing power of a tablet device with the connectivity of a mobile phone. It joins Samsung’s Note 3, LG’s new curved six-inch phablet and Sony’s Xperia Ultra.

Sales of phablets,which range between five to seven inches in size, are on the rise in the region.

“What we’ve been seeing is the emergence of phablets. Consumers are now using devices in different ways and merging all different types of technology. The phablet just becomes a universal device,” said Ian Rea, HTC’s global account product marketing manager. “There is a demand in the Middle East for bigger screens, this is why we’re bringing this device.”

In the second quarter, phablet shipments overtook laptop and tablet shipments. Technology research firm IDC says Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, China, Latin America and the Middle East will account for 51 per cent of global phablet shipments in 2017.

“Phablets first started as a trend driven by mature markets like South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore, and these markets continue to rise,” said Melissa Chau, an IDC analyst. “What’s changed now is the added pick-up of phablets in emerging markets like China and India.”

Consumers, rather than companies, are driving the demand for phablets. But this could soon change as business professionals look to computers that are more portable than laptops.

Ziad Matar, Qualcomm’s head of Middle East and Central Asia, said tablets were being marketed for use by women and children and for use in the education and health care sectors, but phablet sales were taking off.

Currently, most people use their smartphones for surfing the internet, using social media websites and watching videos, rather than making phone calls.

According to the market research firm GlobalWebIndex, Google Maps and Facebook were the two most used mobile applications last month. Globally, mobile devices account for 40 per cent of YouTube’s traffic.

Phablets are becoming more popular because they combine large screens with the portability of mobile phones. Meanwhile, consumer electronics producers are looking at accessories for phablets, particularly blutooth-enabled headsets or mini phones and smartwatches to make phone calls or use text-messaging with.

“We’ve seen the demand. The Galaxy Note did well for us, what we’ve seen typically is a lot of hardcore BlackBerry users have switched to phablets. If you’re somebody who travels and needs to get work done when you’re out of the office, phablets make it easier,” said Ashish Panjabi, the chief operating officer at Jacky’s Electronics.

“It is more of a niche market here, not everyone is the right customer for a phablet, but from a multimedia content point of view, it is easier to watch movies when you’re on the plane and you don’t really see much of that on regular smartphones unless you’re watching a short Youtube video.”

The HTC One Max will be available in the UAE and Saudi Arabia by Tuesday.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

 The cooling towers of the Temelin nuclear power plant near the Tyn nad Vltavou in Czech Republic. The country wants to continue expanding nuclear energy capacity despite cancelling a tender to build two new units. David W Cerny / Reuters

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.

 A sign points the way to an outdoor market popular with German visitors on the Polish side of the German-Polish border. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

In pictures: A decade since the European Union went east

May 1 will mark 10 years since the European Union expanded east, taking in countries like Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states as new members. And though the border region between Germany and Poland is flourishing with trade and cultural exchange, the open border has also brought a sharp rise in crime.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National