Highly popular in Australia, the large screen devices have proved to be a big hit for the Korean consumer electronics giant. One estimate claims that more than 25 million phablets were shipped to customers in the Asia-Pacific region in the first quarter of 2012 alone. (That number does not include Japan.)
Joshua Flood of ABI Research speculated that the strong numbers could be attributed to a growing realization on the part of consumers "that a nearly 5-inch screen isn't such a cumbersome device."
Over the past 24 months Samsung has sold 40 million Note devices, the first device in Samsung's phablet line debuted in 2011; the most recent Note, the Note 3, hits shelves in Australia this week.
"To use a term of phrase borrowed from that other mobile giant, this is Samsung's best Note yet," Engadget wrote this week. "It's better in pretty much every way, with the possible exception of that speaker. The display is bigger, but it never makes the device feel inflated, which is some sort of dark magic in its own right. Either way, we applaud Samsung for consistently making this series better and better."
Samsung, which helped establish the phablet vertical, has long been its dominant force. But that may not last. As analytics firm IDC recently pointed out, Samsung's share of the phablet market has shrunk from 90 percent in 2011 to 50 percent today.