With the introduction of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus last year, lines are now beginning to blur as smartphones and tablets have many of the same functions and designs.
Phablet (smartphones with screen sizes from 5.5 to less than 7 inches) is taking over the smart connected device market gradually. This year, phablets volumes is expecting to be 318 million units, which will surpass the 233 million units forecast of tablets for the first time . Moreover, a recent study by Canalys showed that worldwide tablet shipments fell 12% in Q4 2014, reaching 67 million units .
Regardless of the dropping number of tablet shipments, IC giant Intel seems to hold a positive forecast for the tablet market as their new system on chip product (SoC), Cherry Trail, which is specifically designed for tablets, starts shipping to manufactures earlier this year . Cherry Trail is expected to bring improved battery life and enhanced performance especially in image processing to tablets, including the lower end products. Although the end product with the Cherry Trail is not going to hit the market until Q2 2015, it is still important to keep the question in mind: Will Cherry Trail be the game changer in the smart connected device market?
Is this the beginning of the end for tablets, or will the innovative technology from Intel be able to keep the tablet industry alive for a few more years? In the electronic component market, how should OEM and EMS get prepared for the changing trend to stay ahead of the supply chain curve? Those are definitely valuable questions for us.