back to article Dawn of The Planet of the Phablets in 2019 will see off smartphones

Analyst outfit IDC has predicted the smartphone era will soon end, with 2019 to see the dawn of the phablet age. That prediction, made by the folks behind the firm's new Quarterly Mobile Device Tracker, relied on a definition of a smartphone as a device with screens up to 5.5 inches and a phablet as possessing a screen of 5.5 …

  1. bazza Silver badge

    Pocketalypse

    Seems like we're heading back towards lugging laptops around...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pocketalypse

      And they say size doesn't matter.

      *Snerk*

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Tom 64
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Pocketalypse

      I for one welcome our new phabetising overlords, always misstype on my Sony Z5 and would welcome something bigger...

      Paris because she probably would too.

    4. Stork Bronze badge

      Re: Pocketalypse

      I never quite stopped. But at least they got smaller (MacBook Air now).

      Managing emails, bookings, banking etc from a phone? Not happening with me.

    5. Gordan

      Re: Pocketalypse

      I have to say I'm dismayed by the trend of moving toward phablets. IMHO, the ideal form factor for a phone is about 3.5" (ZTE Blade). I grudgingly upgraded to a Moto G (1st gen) when Android 2.x went out of support and Android 4.x was never ported to it.

      I find Moto G's 4.5" size unnecessarily big and bulky, but have been resisting upgrading to a newer phone because finding anything that is:

      1) not bigger

      2) supported by LineageOS

      is pretty much impossible at the moment.

      Until the market provides a sensibly sized device, it won't be selling me a new phone.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pocketalypse

        Being old(ish), I like a phone that mostly functions as a phone and is good for texting. I miss my side-slide, LG 2 Rumour I think it was. If I need to do much more than that I want my laptop. Having upgraded to a proper smart phone I find that I use very little of its potential functionality.

        In respect to the many who like to a lot more than that on their phones I think that's great and it's doubtlessly my eye-sight that causes me to prefer my laptop for all those other tasks.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Pocketalypse

          AC:"Having upgraded to a proper smart phone I find that I use very little of its potential functionality."

          I also do very little with mine but that little is a hell of a lot more comfortable to do on my current 5.5" phone than the older, smaller ones. Mostly I use an 8" tablet though, PIA to hold but worth it.

          1. DropBear Silver badge

            Re: Pocketalypse

            The future belongs neither to phablets nor to phones - one of these centuries years one of the players will finally come up with a usable foldable display and lots of ways to roll / fold / etc. it up in compact handsets with screens several times their size. People who just want to make calls and exchange short messages will keep using the simplest / smallest traditional handset they are content with - everybody else will go foldable...

            1. M man

              Re: Pocketalypse

              https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/10/17/16486484/zte-axon-m-dual-screen-phone-announcement-hands-on

        2. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Pocketalypse

          Being old(-ish), I rather like my Pixel XL which, at 5.5", is right on the cusp of being a phablet.

          I'm sure I don't use its full potential but I do play a couple games (I find that Ingress helps get me out of the house occasionally), stream on it when nothing larger is available, and... oh that's right, sometimes I make phone calls.

          Heh. Seriously, I do use it to pay for things, eBay, reading IT hack sites, some social networking, and even (rarely) remote control one of my desktops. And for some 2FA.

          Actually, I use it for a lot of little stuff. It's almost like it's not just a phone, but also a handy pocket-sized computer that does video!

      2. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Pocketalypse

        I too was looking for a phone that is supported by Lineage OS, and had a 4.5" screen. I tried a Sony Z5 Compact, which was fine, but it turned out that I've got used to the 5" screen in my Swift, and the keyboard on the 4.5" screen felt slightly too small to use comfortably. (then I found the microphones in the Z5C were broken so that got returned). I haven't noticed my eyesight getting worse, but I suppose I am getting older. Maybe I'm going to have to stick to 5" screens from now on :(

        So, now I'm going to try a Moto G5 and hope the unofficial Lineage rom works ok...

      3. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Pocketalypse

        I'd hope there would be some choice.

        I lament the demise of small top edge clamshell, slider and Communicator side edge clamshell. Some of these are still on dumb or feature phones, or non-Western markets.

        Surely makers and retail chains are big enough to offer some niche choice, rather than alternate badges to ergonomically disastrous touch screen only phones?

        1. Neill Mitchell

          Re: Pocketalypse

          "I lament the demise of small top edge clamshell, slider and Communicator side edge clamshell."

          You mean something like this?

          https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gemini-pda-android-linux-keyboard-mobile-device-phone

          :)

      4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Pocketalypse

        ideal form factor for a phone is about 3.5"

        Unless, of course, one is partially-sighted.. Yes, you can make things bigger but once you start losing most of the information off the screen it all becomes a tad pointless.

        Yes, I could take my glasses off and hold the screen closer but then it's too close for stereoscopic vision..

    6. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Pocketalypse

      Personally, I like my smaller smartphone. However, I A) don't look at too much video on my phone B) still have pretty good eyesight and C) do not like a phone that fills my whole shirtpocket or is uncomfortable or breakable in my pants pocket when I sit down.

      Maybe I'll bring back the 80s brick-phone. Only now with a hardened case and shock-resistant electronics so you can use it as a paperweight, handy hammer or self-defense weapon when necessary.

    7. B83
      Coat

      Re: Pocketalypse

      Is 2019 the year for the manbag as well so they can hold the Phablets?

      You could even add a new icon "I''ll get me manbag".

    8. M man

      Re: Pocketalypse

      For most off the chinese these ARE thier laptops...so yes.

  2. getHandle
    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: IDC?

      I guess the takeaway is: sales of larger phones will decline as people switch back from phablets to smartphones.

      The numbers and the assumptions really are all bollocks.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: IDC?

      Could IDC share a few comparisons between predictions from a couple of years ago and the eventual outcomes?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Age

    When you get older a larger screen makes using a phone easier. Easier to read, easier to poke at numbers and letters etc.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Age

      Doro are currently advertising on Classic FM. Pushing their phones' features which make them good for older people. That functionality is the reason I bought a "not smart" one: brighter screen; selectable bigger font; bigger buttons; louder sound; long battery charge; replaceable battery.

      Haven't reached the stage to need the "emergency" single press texting facility yet. They also have remote management of the phone's settings for designated "carers".

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Age

        Except last time I looked Carphone and Tesco was selling GSM only Doro. The Operators in Ireland only have to give Regulator six months notice and need no permission to switch off GSM and use 3G.

        Where is SOGA?

        I heard a rumour Doro have 3G now. But I don't want one anyway. I'd like a slightly smaller & slimmer version of the N9200 concept, a phone when you want calls and like a Palm handheld when you want a portable PC. My N9200 was more use for actual doing stuff than my 7" Android tablet, because of the keyboard, though 14.4kbps or 28.8kbps per second billing for web browsing was painful.

        1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

          Re: Age

          As far as I remember, per-second billing through circuit-switched data (there's still a GSM profile for this) let you dial a regular dial-up internet service through your phone. It went at 9600bps. I remember dialling in to my office from my train at Waterloo and sending an internal mail with Lotus Notes, and it taking about half an hour once it managed to stay connected long enough on the half-hour journey home.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's going to be a pain in the arse for people smuggling phones into prisons.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anything smaller than 5.5 inches just won't satisfy

    I hear that a lot from the ladies (weeps quietly)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Anything smaller than 5.5 inches just won't satisfy

      Obviously looking for growing markets.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anything smaller than 5.5 inches just won't satisfy

        It's not the size of the boat but the motion of the ocean.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Anything smaller than 5.5 inches just won't satisfy

          It's not the size of your tool, but the power of your engine...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Anything smaller than 5.5 inches just won't satisfy

          "It's not the size of the boat but the motion of the ocean."

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiRiXcfp-1Y&feature=youtu.be&t=75

        3. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Anything smaller than 5.5 inches just won't satisfy

          "It's not the size of the boat but the motion of the ocean."

          "That may be true, but it takes a long time to get to England in a rowboat." - Jeff Foxworthy.

  6. Teiwaz Silver badge
    Joke

    Health Risk?

    Huge, potentially razor thin (unless apple wise-up~) glass slabs in pockets.

    How soon is some poor sod going to have to limp up to casualty with something i-shiney lodged in their trouserial region*.

    * Also a risk for the (potential) skirt wearing members of the public too, but man-bags are still not popular enough to save lives by being less embarassing than the risk.

    Basically, hint, hint to phone manufacturers. Something folding/clamshell/brick please, we're all bored of slabs. It's getting like a glassified version of the Flinstones...

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Health Risk?

      I remember some poor fella falling a couple of foot into his arse at a house party after the log that formed the seat of a rope swing snapped. Unfortunately for him, he had a glass bottle in his back pocket, and he sustained cuts to his cheek. Luckily for him, it was a 35cl bottle of rum so at least his lacerations were sterilised.

    2. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: Health Risk?

      Am I the only person who buys shirts with pockets? I simply can't imagine carrying my phone where it's difficult to get at when I'm sitting on the bus/at the office/relaxing at home.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Health Risk?

        Am I the only person who buys shirts with pockets? I simply can't imagine carrying my phone where it's difficult to get at when I'm sitting on the bus/at the office/relaxing at home.

        Judging by the size increases, If I were you, I'd invest in a papoose for your next slab sided baby....

      2. 's water music Silver badge

        Re: Health Risk?

        Am I the only person who buys shirts with pockets? I simply can't imagine carrying my phone where it's difficult to get at when I'm sitting on the bus/at the office/relaxing at home.

        Since phablets appeal strongly to myopic older men I always assumed that people carried them in their cargo shorts pocket like I do

      3. juice Bronze badge

        Re: Health Risk?

        I long since got into the habit of wearing industrial/cargo/work trousers (pick your preferred nomenclature) - the ones with flappy pouches atop the front pockets.

        The flappy pouches are perfect for keeping a modern phone in: deep enough to avoid the risk of them falling out, and since they're only attached at the top, there's enough freedom of movement to minimise the risk of the phone getting damaged when you bend over/sit down/etc.

        The thigh pockets are also useful, as it means I can carry various odds and sods around without needing a bag; when I'm at a festival or gig, they're also useful when it comes to taking battery packs or the occasional *hic* medicinal beverage in a hipflask.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    " it less useful in Samsung's world, as the Galaxy S8 is well and truly positioned as a handset – but its 5.8 inch screen means IDC considers it a phablet."

    Anybody else read that sentence and think WTF? Can't believe I wasted 10 minutes reading this, scratching my head and then posting this!

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Go

      Sounds like we need a new icon with a clock for those of us wanting the time we wasted on the article back. For convenience it could be next to the teaser for anything from Matt Asay.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Anybody else read that sentence and think WTF?

      It's IDC. Much like politicians, they have learnt the art of saying nothing while using a large number of words..

  8. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    If it fits in the pocket of my jeans...

    it's a phone. If it won't it's a tablet, with or without a ph

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If it fits in the pocket of my jeans...

      If it fits in the pocket of my jeans...

      What happens if you come over all youthful, and buy a pair of tight fitting jeans which no phone is going to comfortably fit in? You could be as hip as this guy. Note: Entirely safe for work, but you may you desperately wish you could unsee the image.

      But anyway, I'm sure your logic is correct. I always thought that was why Nokia stuck with their brick format for so long (including their early smartphones), simply because everybody in Finland wore a check shirt and cargo trousers with enormous pockets.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If it fits in the pocket of my jeans...

      My 1st mobile fit snugly in the change pocket in my tight jeans. Thanks to the ravages of time & drinking I now have jeans that could swallow a 7"er without trace, others that leave 5" poking precariously over the lip.

      I miss that original phone. A little. Most useful watch and radio I've owned. Bugger all use for anything else though.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If it fits in the pocket of my jeans...

        I now have jeans that ....leave 5" poking precariously over the lip

        There's a number of mostly unsavoury mental images to accompany that text. Do you need to clarify, or shall we just move along?

  9. VinceH Silver badge

    "Analyst outfit IDC has predicted the smartphone era will soon end, with 2019 to see the dawn of the phablet age."

    2019: Close enough that they can convince gullible fools that it's plausible, but far enough off that by the time it comes around and their predictions don't pan out, everyone will have forgotten they said it.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      They cast the bones....

      2019: Close enough that they can convince gullible fools that it's plausible, but far enough off that by the time it comes around and their predictions don't pan out, everyone will have forgotten they said it.

      And we all assumed the era of the charlatan soothsayers was long over....

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: They cast the bones....

        And we all assumed the era of the charlatan soothsayers was long over..

        No - the discolourations on the lobe of this sheeps liver means that it will continue for at least a couple of years.

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: They cast the bones....

          Sheeps liver?

          That's so last epoch, all the iShamans are lobbing iThings at the altar and reading the chips.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "by the time it comes around and their predictions don't pan out, everyone will have forgotten they said it."

      However I do wish journalists would ask them for their predictions from a couple of years ago and the outcomes. Or simply dig the figures out for themselves if when IDCarnter don't respond.

  10. thomas k

    Reaaly?

    Good thing I bought a spare Lumia 520 in case my current one goes titsup.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reaaly?

      1520? Great thing

  11. rmason Silver badge

    I fought them and I lost

    Like many here i thought larger phones (ugh, phablets) were daft.

    Then along came the note 2 and i've not looked back since. When you adapt, you become used to it and smaller ones feel limited again. I can't even put my finger on why.

    Work provide an iPhone S, which works wonderfully as a work device, but I just can't use the thing for recreational stuff, much prefer the slightly larger ones now.

    1. 's water music Silver badge

      Re: I fought them and I lost

      smaller ones feel limited again. I can't even put my finger on why.

      I see what you did there

    2. Lieutenant Frost
      Windows

      Re: I fought them and I lost

      "Like many here i thought larger phones (ugh, phablets) were daft.

      Then along came the note 2 and i've not looked back since."

      Same thing here. Went from a Samsung Odyssey ATIV running WinPho8 to a Galaxy Note 4. It represented a jump from 4.0" to a 5.7" display.

      I walked into the phone shop and my exact words to the sales rep were "Give me the largest phone you have." At the time, I had to choose between the Note 4 and the Note 4 Edge. The price differential couldn't justify the Edge, so I went with the base Note 4. I still use it as a backup phablet to this day, albeit with the Next lock screen installed (the one feature I still miss in Android - WinPho-style lock screen calendar integration).

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And

    They'll all run Windows Mobile!

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: And

      They'll all run from Windows Mobile!

      Well, I would. Seems it's creator is frightened enough of it to forget P.R. and run from it every few years, leaving it to lurch down to the village unsupervised to assault the locals....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And

      Whilst I would like that to be true the management currently steering Microsoft (full steam ahead towards the rocks) doesn't seem to share that or for that matter any other vision. Pity. My 5.7 inch phone/phablet is still going strong after 2.5 years. Sadly the updates will stop in another years time after which unless the miracle happens I will have to buy a new phone that doesn't run windows mobile. But it will have a big screen as I enjoy being able to use the full desktop versions on web sites from my phone.

  13. Pete 2 Silver badge

    A numbers game

    All phones and (t|ph)ablets are basically the same. They perform the same functions: primarily running apps, occasionally taking photos and rarely making calls.

    As such, to the man in the street, their only distinguishing features are brand recognition and the numbers touted in their specifications.

    It seems that there are only two numbers that people either understand or care about. One is the number of megapixels the camera claims and the other is the size of the screen. MegaPix seems to be a busted flush, since the numbers are getting so large - yet the picture quality of a 20 MPix "phone" is no better than a 4 MPix phone's. And when you view them on the screen they are the same.

    So stop pushing camera specs and focus on the other number. However, buyers will soon tire of over-large phones. Whether due to their unwieldy nature or their excessive weight. I can't see many people wanting to lug an 8-inch screen around - we had that with laptops.

    Personally, I'd settle for any size screen. Just so long as you could see what was on it in daylight.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: A numbers game

      I'm not sure that people are blinded by Megapixel numbers as once they might have been. Some folks happily just buy the newest Samsung Galaxy or iPhone every couple of years because they feel the previous incarnation served them well enough and life's too short. Both the high end Galaxy and iPhone phones are considered to have good camera systems, and the iPhone's camera has remained at 12 megapixels for a while now.

      Of the remaining folk, some choose a handset for another feature (cost, SD card, stylus maybe.

      Other numbers are creeping into phone adverts, such as minimum aperture and photoreceptor size.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: A numbers game

      I don't agree with you Pete, I was talking to the guys on the maintenance team where I work, most of them like the large screen end of phones. While they are concerned about camera quality because they use them, they seem to be more impressed with the chip set and ram, how fast the thing will be and the amount of storage on board. They all use their phones for music and photos, use whatsapp interminably, filling up the storage with work and private stuff.

      I was surprised that a bunch of painters, plumbers and electricians were so discerning but most of them had done their homework and knew what they wanted and were looking for.

      On the pixel side of things, there is a big difference between 4 and 20 MP though few phones seem to go to 20, 13MP seems to be almost standard at the moment on phones that I have looked at, whereas when I bought my last phone a bit over 3 years ago 8MP seemed to be the norm. There is a big improvement on my old 8MP compared to the new 13MP.

      Sensor size is important as well as the drivers for it but people seem to know that too, the numbers are important but they have to be in context to impress a lot of folks now.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Phones are often Chinese citizens' sole or main computing device, making the liking for larger screens understandable."

    Visiting Hong Kong in 1993 it was a surprise to see people in the street talking on much larger mobile phones than were by then common in London. Our host explained that in Chinese culture you flaunt your desirable possessions. The state of the art small mobiles would have been too discreet.

    For the same reason large Mercedes cars were clogging the local streets where a Mini would have been more efficient.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      I think part of the reason is that it isn’t so easy to compose messages in Chinese on a small screen. They generally draw the characters on screen using the handwriting recognition thing, and more screen space makes that easier.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Philosophical question

    Are they small phablets or large smartphones?

    1. Horridbloke

      Re: Philosophical question

      Yes.

  16. Anne-Lise Pasch

    What I want

    First I had a functioning phone and a functioning laptop. Now I have some hybrid thing that does everything, and which is really annoying. Its like owning a washer/dryer. Sure it can do both, but only half a load.

    1. GlenP Silver badge

      Re: What I want

      My washer/drier does a full load, however it's true that hybrids generally do neither thing well!

  17. Haku

    HELLO! YES I'M ON A PHABLET! NO IT'S RUBBISH!

    /Dom Joly

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: HELLO! YES I'M ON A PHABLET! NO IT'S RUBBISH!

      Dom Joly

      Whatever happened to him?

      ICBA to bother googling to see if he's dead, doing a spell of porridge, or merely reduced to doing a panto at the Rotheram Civic.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: HELLO! YES I'M ON A PHABLET! NO IT'S RUBBISH!

        He had a weekly column in free paper "Metro" fairly recently as I recall reading it while ago (spot the commuter!), also CBA to check his current activities (as his column was not up to much I doubt he's setting the world on fire)

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: HELLO! YES I'M ON A PHABLET! NO IT'S RUBBISH!

        He did a web series of Trigger Happy TV on All 4 not long back.

  18. Jess

    I've been using a 10" Phablet for 18 months

    I have no desire to use a smaller touchscreen.

    It is actually quite nice to be offline when I don't want to carry it.

    (I have a Q10 that I use when I need to carry a phone at work)

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: I've been using a 10" Phablet for 18 months

      Don't you feel a bit silly holding the thing up to the side of your face to make a call?

      I've got a phone, a tablet and various laptops with docking stations which seems to work for me. Horses for courses.

    2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: I've been using a 10" Phablet for 18 months

      I've been looking at 7" tabs as a phone replacement, and then using some BT connected device to make calls through. The downside for me is I use my phone camera quite a bit, and tablet cameras are lacklustre, although there are many compact cameras with BT connectivity now, so could bridge the snap to social media upload gap.

  19. kmac499

    Design Opportunity

    If we are forced to carry these ugly great things around, maybe we could rethink the design back to the old fashioned desktop telephone with a seperate handset; not a headset. Something along the lines of Nintendo switch controllers. When unplugged from the base they cleverly unfold to a length and angle that covers the gap from ear to mouth. (C'mon Jony Ives get your magic markers out)

    The 'handset' unit when docked leaches a bit of charge from the phablet to keep it's charge level. When a call comes in simply slipping the handset off the base connects the call and activates the link between the two.

    No dial option on the handset just a On hook Off hook button. Also solves the problem of looking something up on the 'phone' while you'r using it without going to speakerphone mode.

    (Proud owner of a 4" Samsung S4 mini)

    1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: Design Opportunity

      "separate handset; not a headset"

      I saw a tablet stylus with a built in BT mike / speaker, so you could walk around talking into a pen, just like Napoleon Solo did in 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E." .

      1. David Paul Morgan

        Re: Design Opportunity

        yes, I remember them.

        I wish the studio had done a man from U.N.C.L.E. tie-in when the new film was released.

        Groovy baby!

        "OK Google, open channel D"

      2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Design Opportunity

        I saw a tablet stylus with a built in BT mike / speaker, so you could walk around talking into a pen, just like Napoleon Solo did in 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E." .

        Maybe we just need a modern version of Maxwell Smart's shoe-phone.

    2. fuzzie

      Re: Design Opportunity

      That's already been done and is still on the market. I had a Sony Xperia Z Ultra (6.4" phablet) for a while, because I got it really cheap and didn't want to specifically buy a tablet. As others have commented, most of what I do with a phone these days, aren't traditional "phone" stuff. A large screen is great for consuming media and/or web browsing. The SBH52 smart headset (there are newer version), in combination, gives you a old style "tiny" feature phone for calls. The other thing I loved about this headset, is that I can plug my existing B&W headphones into them.

      Product/demo link:

      * http://www.xperiablog.net/2013/06/27/sony-sbh52-smart-bluetooth-handset-ideal-xperia-z-ultra-companion/

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Design Opportunity

      C'mon Jony Ives get your magic markers out

      Is that his euphemism for it?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's inevitable ...

    Users getting older. Users will not (and the market had better pray they don't) give up their mobile lifestyle.

    The only answer is bigger - and better - screens.

    I already have the phablet design of the future, since my wife has poor eyesight, so needs 2022 tech *today*.

  21. Andy 97

    I can't imagine young people trudging through the back streets of an urban town with one of these monstrosities clamped to their skulls.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      back streets of an urban town with one of these monstrosities clamped to their skulls

      You obviously don't remember the days of the stereo boomboxes that the 80's yoof used to carry..

  22. NBCanuck

    Solution?

    With proposed upcoming clamshell smartphones the solution may be close.

    In folded mode give it a basic screen that permits alerts and basic call and SMS functions and a viewer for camera For browsing or other apps open it up.

    Phones have gotten so slim that folding them won't really make for a thick phone (but PLEASE make sure there is room for a decent sized battery!).

  23. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    "Analyst outfit IDC"

    Shouldn't that be: "Haruspices-reading outfit"?

    After all, their "predictions" are about as accurate as telling the future from a flight of birds[1] or the state of a dead sheep's liver..

    [1] "One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl and four for a boy".. Or, in ancient Rome, the flight of geese or eagles..

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Three and a half inches is good enough for my wife

    I am lucky in that respect.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Three and a half inches is good enough for my wife

      But thinner is not necessarily better?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once I got a 5.5" screen...

    ... I never looked back. Fits in the back pocket. A Huawei H710VL is $60 (US) and has an octo core processor and a 1080p screen. I have absolutely no desire to go bigger, but 5.5" is the right size for me. I'm 6' tall, have bigger hands... 5.5" screen is great. I am 56, and my eyes like the 5.5" screen as well. Just from this article, you can see popularity of this size screen. Apple had to succumb to put out a 5.5" screen. Nobody I have ever personally known that went to a 5.5" screen has ever gone back to a smaller screen and liked it.

  26. WolfFan Silver badge

    doubt it

    There are a lot of people. myself included, who like small form-factor phones and simply will not buy phones which are too large. Apple's 'plus' phones (6+, etc) are too large. Even the 6 and 7 and 8 and X are trending too large. Anything larger is simply not getting a sale here.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: doubt it

      And there are others like myself who find many phones TOO SMALL. I happen to like the Note 4's size. Big viewable screen that I can still hold in my big hand. Also makes typing easier for my big fingers.

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        'big hands'

        If current trends continue, poor Donnie Trump is going to have to abandon Android for iPhone... [sniff] Will no-one at Google or Samsung or even ZTE think of the small-handed? Sad!

  27. 2Nick3 Bronze badge

    Why no iPad/full tablet with cell phone capabilities?

    What I can't understand is why Apple doesn't make iPads with the normal cell phone functionality in them - it would do everything an iPhone can do but with a much larger screen. I would think that would be a big hit with business travelers. If you want me to replace my computer with an iPad, make it the only thing I need to carry with me. Sure, I won't hold it up to my face (although I'm sure some people will), but most people use ear buds or a Bluetooth headset, so there's really no change there.

    1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Why no iPad/full tablet with cell phone capabilities?

      At home or at work I've used my 10" Android ("Mr Data, are you *fully* functional?") with Google Hangouts to make conference calls, using a plug-in headset.

  28. GX5000
    Big Brother

    Same people, again..

    Same people that said e-mail was dead.

    I've been in IT for over thirty years, still have a clamshell (Rugby2), still happy with theway the Car connects up to it super fast.

    You can keep your Landfill materials, I'm good and so are my Clients.

  29. FlippingGerman

    Significant Figures

    There's no way they can justify all of those.

  30. Ripper38
    Unhappy

    Wot about the wearables?

    Not in my life time? damn! And there was me thinking the trend was towards wearables

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Wot about the wearables?

      Wearables will never be in until they can make a computer that can do Crysis 3 at least at 1080p @ 60fps, without fans or heatsinks, and still be cool to the touch. You see, HEAT is the primary obstacle to a practical wearable.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Useless

    Came to the conclusion a while ago that mobiles (work assigned me an iPhone 5, and I have my own Moto E LTE) are pretty useless for computing beyond casual web browsing. With the transition to VOIP ( the company is now heavily invested in Skype for Business), a laptop provides the best communications experience, while still the only practical option for remote admin (have you ever tried doing an ssh session on a touch device?) and content creation (just banged out four 5 page SOPs the other day). Tablets might work for arms-length executives who only consume content and dictate an occasional missive to a human assistant, but they're a dead end for the front line troops. As for the great unwashed, while I'm sure Madison Av can sell them on the phablet life, it's likely that like the Ford Pinto, they'll come to regret it. Of course if the handset makers all confine their lines to expesnsive phablets, then we might be headed for a future where an earpiece tethered to a small but powerful laptop in a man-purse -- or a rented local node of opportunity -- becomes the end game.

  32. J 3
    Boffin

    Not for me

    Horse for courses, and the large horse is not for me... After my old phone gave up the ghost, I got a 5.5" (Moto G4 Plus), which is very nice in terms of power and functionality. Except I wish it was 4" or at most 4.5". Carrying the 5.5" phone in pant pockets is almost always terrible. The pants I have bought recently have somewhat shallow pockets, so the phone barely fits. I nearly always wear T-shirts, so no pockets there, but I also can't see any shirt whole pocket would accommodate this phone in a non-ridiculous looking way. Unless you are a very large person, I guess.

    I'm 44 but with good eyesight, but that is irrelevant, I think. If your eyesight is too bad to see well what's on a phone held a foot from your face, consult your optometrist. It might be time for a new prescription.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Not for me

      Ever considered a belt pouch? You can get them as big as you need while still relatively free of bending legs, still relatively easy to reach, and the only requirement you'd need would be a belt (and I've observed a person wearing pants incapable of accommodating a belt to be very rare).

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