Say goodbye to the 7-inch tablet because it is about to be replaced by the phablet.
Juniper Research is forecasting that by 2019, one of every five smartphones shipped will boast a 5.5-inch+ display. That's over 400 million oversized handsets and is more than twice as many as the 138 million expected to ship during 2015.
The phablet had already found a niche in the Asia Pacific region as the perfect convergence device -- i.e., a handset small enough to be portable and for making phone calls but big enough to not need a magnifying glass when browsing the web, gaming or watching video content.
And now, thanks to Apple finally joining the party with the iPhone 6 Plus, Juniper is expecting the device category to go truly mainstream.
And as more consumers start to fall for the benefits of a smartphone with greater screen real estate, the more they are going to start turning their backs on tablets, particularly those with 7-inch displays.
Tim Cook, Apple's CEO almost admitted as much when answering questions about the company's historic quarterly profit on Tuesday. Apple may have sold a record-breaking 74.5 million iPhones over the past three months, but iPad sales were down again at just 21.4 million units. And when asked for his thoughts on the numbers, Cook said that phones and computers were starting to cannibalize tablet sales.
The Apple boss also revealed that he didn't expect iPad sales to pick up noticeably over the next six months, either.
The appetite for tablets is waning at the same time that device processors are becoming capable enough to power a notebook as easily as a smartphone and this flexibility is opening the door to innovation for manufacturers.
"Hardware capabilities are blurring, with devices like cellular-connected tablets, phablets and smartphones with console-level graphics and sound systems becoming much more common. This shifts device design parameters to budgets and use cases, rather than technological features," said Juniper Research's James Moar.