The phablet segment is rising and analysts believe Apple should join the bandwagon and let out the 'iPhablet' or 'iPhone Plus' from its arsenal soon.
By 2015, the phablet market will see shipments of up to 230 million units, Barclay Capital's Ben Reitzer recently wrote, adding that the tech giant would find irresistible not to issue its own take on the 5-inch plus screen smartphones.
Mr Reitzer said "he's longing for an iPhablet," adding that consumers have been turning their attention on large-screen Android devices "since phone calls are becoming less important than navigation, texting, videos, books and Web access for many."
He also joined the chorus of analysts predicting that Apple will release two iPhone versions by second half of 2013 - the iPhone 5S, which is geared for Apple's normal market base, and a more affordable iPhone, which represents the company's ongoing efforts to capture other audience outside of its territory.
The iPhablet, Mr Reitzer said, will likely come during the initial months of 2014, underscoring the underway improvements that Apple has set in motion to maintain its tight grip of the overall smartphone industry.
"We believe the most important advances for the iPhone in 2013 will be actually be improvements to iOS and its services, which can expand the market for Apple," the Barclay Capital analyst was reported by Barrons.com as saying.
In a separate opinion, Shaw Wu of Sterne Agee is convinced that Apple can only arrest the continuing surge of Samsung, maker of the million-selling Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3, by matching what the competition can do.
"We believe Apple is leaving money on the table by not participating in larger touchscreen form factors ... But more importantly, we believe Apple needs to reclaim high-end leadership as that is what brand is about ... It is clear that many customers want larger screens," Apple Insider reported Mr Wu as saying in a note to clients.
The same report pointed to a projection by Marco Arment, who believes Apple will likely produce a 4.9-inch screen handset that will be known as the iPhone Plus.
The iPhone Plus, Mr Arment said, will have the same screen resolution as that of the iPhone 5, making it easier for Apple to put together the new device and release it soon.
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