Sales of “phablets” are on the rise, according to research firm Juniper Research, whose latest report studies the market for these smartphone and tablet hybrids, with screen sizes of at least 5.6 inches. While 20 million of these devices were reportedly sold through 2013, Juniper predicts over 120 million units will be shipped by 2018.
The report attributes this expected growth to East Asian markets like South Korea and China, as gamers will seek out devices with larger screens for gameplay and content streamers will desire higher quality displays, among other factors.
Juniper predicts the market will offer devices at both ends of the price spectrum, as established brands including Nokia will offer higher-end and more expensive products, while smaller companies can release cheaper models in some markets.
Juniper notes that Windows has a chance to find success in the more “affluent demographics” of developing nations, thanks to Nokia’s Lumia line of products, while Android will flourish on Samsung’s Note series of phablets in developed markets.
Apple may also enter the phablet market this year, with rumors of a device with a 5.0 inch or larger display being developed for release later this year. Juniper accounts for this, stating that the market would “change dramatically” if the iPhone maker did enter the phablet space.
Juniper’s full report on tablets, hybrids and more can be found on its website.