Large-display smartphones shipments set to more than double in 2013 says iSuppli

January 18, 2013 // By Julien Happich
With their global shipments set to more than double this year, phablets are a hot product, as illustrated by their high profile at last week's 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The “phablet”—a portmanteau of the words “phone” and “tablet”—is a smartphone with a large display sized 5-inches or bigger.

Shipments of phablets in 2013 are forecast to reach 60.4 million units, up a notable 136 percent from 25.6 million last year, according to the IHS iSuppli Mobile Handset Displays market tracker report from information and analytics provider IHS.

Expansion in capacity related to low-temperature polysilicon liquid crystal display (LTPS LCD), as well as the resulting reduction in prices for large-size, high-resolution smartphone displays, will enable vigorous double-digit-rate expansion for shipments of 5-inch-and-larger smartphones over the next few years, as shown in the attached figure. In 2016, global phablet shipments are set to reach 146.0 million units.

Chinese OEMs lead the way

Chinese phone makers took the lead in new product launches for the 5-inch-and-larger smartphone category at CES this year. Huawei Technologies showcased what so far appears to be the world’s largest smartphone, the Ascend Mate, with a 6.1-inch display, 720p high-definition (HD) pixel format at 361 pixels per inch (ppi). The company also unveiled the Ascend D2 with a 5-inch display and 1920 x 1080 pixel format at 443 ppi.

Huawei rival ZTE launched the Grand S, which at a profile of 6.9 millimeters stakes claim to being the world's thinnest quad-core smartphone. The Grand S, along with TCL’s Alcatel-branded One Touch Scribe HD and Lenovo’s IdeaPhone K5, will have a pixel format of 1920 x 1080 on a 5-inch screen.

Lenovo at the show also launched the K900 with a 5.5-inch 1080p, 400-ppi Full HD display. Meanwhile, Sony Mobile from Japan introduced the Xperia Z, another 5-inch smartphone with a 1920 x 1080 pixel format.

At a display resolution of 443 ppi, the 5-inch phones with 1920 x 1080 pixel formats exceed the Retina Display resolution of 326 ppi on Apple’s iPhone 5 and the 267 ppi on the Galaxy Note II from Samsung Electronics. The new handsets included water-spill-proofing and shatter-resistant screens.

7-inch and hybrid tablets show up in force

Much attention at CES was similarly