Hybrid Phablets: Insights Into An Emerging Search Market

Phablet-Samsung-AHalf-smartphone, half-tablet -- phablets with screens featuring five inches or larger are great for viewing videos and Web sites, but how will search marketers approach this market segment when it comes to search engine optimization, paid-search ads and targeting? Many basically just warmed up to tablets.

Combined, smartphones and tablets accounted for a 22% share of clicks and 17% share of spend, according to Marin Software's quarterly study, Global Online Advertising Trends, released Thursday.

IgnitionOne also released findings that U.S. tablet search ad impressions rose 212% in Q4 2012, and 20% for smartphones, compared with the prior year. Search marketers spent 163% of their budgets for ads on tablets, driving up clicks 135% and driving down cost per clicks by 12%.



How would those numbers look tied to hybrid phablets? ABI research estimates more than 208 million phablets will ship worldwide in 2015.

Apple, which has yet to launch a phablet, could easily turn the iPad Mini into a hybrid device simply by adding a phone and cellular service. Car manufacturers could build into the dash the ability to pop in and out the phablet, so consumers could take with them -- and always have a place for -- the mobile device when traveling in the car. Guess I'm basically thinking like a Californian, where we take our cars everywhere.

DisplaySearch Analyst Richard Shim believes the trends started with the Samsung Galaxy Note II, with a 5.5-inch and, 1,280 by 720-pixel touchscreen. Then on Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show 2013, Huawei introduced the Mate, an Android Jelly Bean device with a 6.1-inch touchscreen. ZTE introduced Grands S; and Sony, Xperia Z.

It's difficult not to talk about emerging technology during the week of the International Consumer Electronics Show 2013. So don't forget the entrance of wearable devices. Juniper Research estimates that the next-generation wearable devices market, including smart glasses, will contribute more than $1.5 billion by 2014, up from $800 million this year. Consumer spending on fitness, multi-functional devices, and health care will drive the uptick in revenue.

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