New Sony “Phablet” Is Market Gamble

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Sony has retooled its Xperia Z Ultra smartphone into a wifi-only tablet, but EverSpark Interactive technologist Jason Hennessey says the hybrid device will have a hard time in an uncertain genre.

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Large smartphones are a niche thing, but they definitely have devoted fans.

Sony unveiled its newest tablet, a phoneless version of its oversize smartphone the Xperia Z Ultra. With a 6.4-inch screen the new “phablet” is smaller than a tablet and larger than most phones—but Jason Hennessey of EverSpark Interactive says there may not be a niche market waiting to snap it up.

The smartphone version of the Xperia Z Ultra is part of a genre of phones that are nearly twice as large as a traditional smartphone. The retooled tablet version features no technical upgrades from the phone, and is smaller than other mini tablets that have 7-inch screens, according to CNET (retrieved 01.23.2014).

“Large smartphones are a niche thing, but they definitely have devoted fans,” said Hennessey, EverSpark's co-founder. “Small tablets are less proven. Especially one this small.”

Hennessey says the logic behind Sony's move is likely to appeal to consumers' budgets, since a wi-fi only tablet does not carry monthly subscription fees like a smartphone with voice, texting and data plans. But at 6.4 inches, he's not sure that appeal is strong.

The Xperia Z Ultra tablet features the same screen, processor and camera as its smartphone sibling, and retails at $499.

“It's possible that they'll define a whole new market with this,” Hennessey said. “But it's hard to see the appeal of an in-between smartphone/tablet device if it can't do both jobs.”

About EverSpark:
EverSpark Interactive is an all-in-one SEO, internet marketing and digital media firm that specializes in gripping, keyword-optimized content. From sales pages to company blogs, PR blurbs to high-quality videos and social media posts, EverSpark's content always gets attention—from both search engines and live customers. The company can be reached at (770) 481-1766 or

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