Samsung sells 5 million ‘phablet' handsets in two months

Sales of 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II suggest that like undersized tablets, oversized smartphones could be the next big thing.

Samsung has sold 2 million galaxy Note II ‘phablets' in the last 24 days, bringing the grand total up to 5 million handset sales worldwide since the device's launch on September 26. Despite being derided by many as a niche product without a clear audience, the oversized handest is only 3 million sales short of Sony's total smartphone sales for the third quarter of 2012.

The latest figures prove two things -- that there is clearly a demand for smartphones with extra-large screens and that wherever Samsung goes, other smartphone makers are sure to follow.

A year ago, the original Galaxy Note was the only 5.3-inch display smartphone on the market when it launched in Germany in October 2011 (total sales to date estimated at 10 million), but now HTC and LG have also revealed their own 5-inch models and Sony is rumored to be unveiling its own tablet-cum-phone at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2013.

It also means that like the devices themselves, the word ‘phablet' is not a flash in the pan and is something we will be hearing more and more of as the market continues to grow.