‘Tablet computers facing pressure from big-screen phones’

Seven-inch tablet computers, the stars of the tablet world in the last few years, are witnessing a shrinking percentage in global shipments due to severe competition from emerging big-screen phones or phablets, says a research firm.

Seven-inch tablets monopolised 64.1% of global tablet shipments in 2014, but the ratio fell to 57.7% last year, according to a US market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

With the emergence of big 5.5-inch-plus screen phones such as iPhone 6 and 6s, the Samsung Galaxy S6 models and the recently released Huawei Mate 8, consumers may pause as they shop for pocketable PCs, reports Xinhua news agency.

As a result, most of the major tablet vendors have slowed their pace in the development of 7-inch or larger tablets, a phenomenon that has been best illustrated at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, where almost none of big tablet brand names such as Samsung, LG announced new 7- or 8-inch tablets development plans.

The IDC predicts sales of small tablets in global shipments will be falling to 43%.

“Phablets have and will continue to impact sales of smaller screen size tablets,” said Jean Philippe Bouchard, tablets research director at IDC.

“The value proposition of a 7-inch slate tablet is considerable reduced when end-users also carries a large smartphone,” Bouchard added.

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