Phablets Appeal Less To Europeans, Study Says

February 22, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. phablet /ˈfæblɪt/ (n.) – mobile phone with tablet computer features
Example: Consumers love phablets because of its dual purpose.

2. upgrade /ʌpˈgreɪd, ˈʌpˌgreɪd/ (v.) – to get new model of a device
Example: My rich friend upgrades his phone every year.

3. inclination /ˌɪnkləˈneɪʃən/ (n.) – likeliness or tendency to do something
Example: Most young people have an inclination to buy the latest gadgets.

4. prefer /prɪˈfɜr/ (v.) – to choose or favor something over another
Example: Some women prefer smaller phones.

5. cost-effective /kɔst ɪˈfɛktɪv/ (adj.) – shows good results at a reasonable price
ExampleCost-effective solutions save time and money.


Read the text below.
A British marketing research company has found that many Europeans find phablets less appealing.

Switching to phones with larger screen has been the trend in the past years. Kantar ComTech’s analysis on 56,000 smartphone owners in the UK revealed how consumers upgrade their phones based on the screen sizes. Most users switch phones every time new models are released. The inclination to get larger phones has been shaped by how leading   brands increase their phones’ screen size every year. But after phablets were released last year, many European users have switched back to smaller screened phones.

According to Kantar’s data, 42 percent of the phablet owners chose to get smaller phones with a screen size of less than five inches. Only 58 percent of the smartphone owners stayed using phablets with 5 to 6.9 inches display.

Most owners of phones with less than four inches display upgraded to larger screens. But for those using phones with 4.5 to 4.9 inches display, only 41 percent moved to phones with larger screens. The research shows that most European consumers prefer phones with around four inches of screen size.

On another note, mobile research company Juniper reported that the demand for phablets will still continuously grow in the future. Juniper Research forecasts that 120 million phablets will be shipped worldwide by 2018.

Analysts believe that majority of phablet consumers will be from Asia, particularly in South Korea and China. According to Kantar Comtech, one reason for phablets’ popularity is its cost-effective way of providing both a phone and a tablet experience in just one device.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why do you think the demand for phablets is higher in Asia than in Europe?
·         What can be the disadvantages of using phablets?

Discussion B

·         What trends do you observe in features of tech products like mobile phones and tablets?
·         What factors affect consumer preference in buying tech products?


February 22, 2014