Are tablet-smartphone hybrids in our future?
Tablet computers and smartphones are both among the hottest technologies at the moment, but one industry observer believes that the day is coming when the two devices become one.
In a report for Asia-based newspaper the Brunei Times, Al-Haadi Abu Bakar asserts that demand is growing for a device that resembles a tablet computer but can perform the call functions of a smartphone. The writer says he is already seeing this trend unfold as "more and more people are oversizing their phones."
"I see this trend continue to grow well into next year, as more different form factor smartphones and tablets start showing up. As if a 4-inch screen on your palm is not enough," he states.
The idea of a 10-inch smartphone is an amusing one, but its applications could actually be beneficial. With a tablet-smartphone hybrid, people would no longer have to carry around two devices. Plus, with calling becoming less and less central to the phone, the larger screen of the tablet would make text messaging and video chat more convenient.
The amalgamation of the two devices isn't expected to occur any time soon. At the moment, both the smartphone and the tablet markets are doing just fine on their own, with the latter expected to ship more than 100 million units in 2012, according to several studies.