Phablet shipments to hit 120 million by 2018: report

The phablet market is only going to get larger in coming years, Juniper Research says. 

The Nokia 1320 phablet runs the Windows Phone 8 OS.

In Asia, sales of the phablet – that ungainly hybrid of smartphone and tablet – are already up 600 percent year-over-year. And according to the analytics firm Juniper Research, the popularity of the phablet is only likely to grow further in coming years, not just in one market, but globally. 

In a new report published this week, Juniper Research predicts that 120 million phablets will ship worldwide in 2018, up exponentially from the estimated 20 million phablets shipped in 2013. Although Apple is rumored to be prepping a phablet for release this year, Juniper analysts are confident that the market will be dominated by Android devices and Nokia phablets running Microsoft's Windows OS. 

"As evidenced by the recent entry of new vendors, including Nokia, Alcatel and Intex, the phablet market will likely grow from both ends of the price spectrum with established global brands predicated to focus on higher price points allowing local players to gain a foothold in the lower end," reps for Juniper wrote in a press release. 

Nokia, which is in the process of being swallowed up by Microsoft, recently launched the 1320 Lumia phablet in Asia, Australia, and Europe. The Windows Phone 8-powered device is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 6-inch display, and a pair of cameras – one front-facing, the other back-facing. 

In a review for SlashGear, Chris Davies praised the "sturdy build quality" and long-lasting battery on the device. Still, he wasn't impressed with the cameras nor the Windows interface. 

"Although some groups will find enough to love about the Lumia 1320's screen," Davies concluded, "Microsoft needs to do a little more to refine its OS to deliver on its half of the bargain. That will undoubtedly come in time, but for now we'd be more tempted by one of Nokia's smaller Lumia devices, particularly those with PureView cameras."

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