Gadgets

Phablets will be a multibillion dollar market by 2018, and Apple has no horse in the race

Above: HTC just announced the One Max

Image Credit: HTC

Last year, 20 million phablets (smartphones with screens larger than 5.5 inches) shipped to consumers around the world.

And according to the analysts at Juniper Research, that figure will rise by 100 million units over the next four years — meaning that by 2018, manufacturers will be shipping 120 million phablets per year.

Any way you slice it, that’s going to be a multibillion dollar pie — a pie of which Apple currently has no slice whatsoever. Right now, price points range for phablets from a hundred or two hundred dollars (subsidized by carriers, natch) to several hundred for unlocked devices.

This spells big opportunities for Android, currently shipping on a few big-screen handhelds, as well as Windows, which Microsoft is willing to throw at any form factor you can dig up. (Interesting fact: the Nokia Lumia 1520 phablet has been reviewed as the best Windows 8 device to date.)

Juniper says phablets will enjoy special popularity in East Asia, where consumers like to use their devices to stream a lot of video and play a lot of games.

Here’s a look at some of the most popular phablets you can get your (presumably enormous) hands on now:

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