Nokia reportedly planning 6-inch phone while phablet interest warms

Summary:One report points to a 6-inch Nokia-branded Windows Phone, likely to be launched ahead of the December holiday season. While phablets may be a "niche for now," they are expected to take off thanks to a push from Asian smartphone makers.

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Larger than a smartphone, smaller than a tablet. Phablets may be a niche-for-now product but are expected to take off in the coming quarters. Image: CNET TV

Long-time phone maker Nokia is reportedly looking into building a 6-inch phablet, in what appears to be efforts at pick at the niche market of those who can't seem to make their mind up whether they want a phone or a tablet.

Sources speaking to The Verge add additional weight to  earlier reports by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley  (now with added codename goodness). Nokia's "Bandit" handset will reportedly come with a 1080p display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor. It's understood to be one of the first of many devices that will introduce the high-resolution display.

Up until now, Nokia has avoided anything more than a 4.5-inch device, as seen with the Nokia 1020, the Finnish phone maker's current flagship device.

The question is: why is Nokia jumping ahead and going with a 6-inch device, when a 5-inch phablet may make more sense? 

The 5-inch-plus phablet market is burgeoning. Samsung and HTC have both jumped on the 5-inch and 6-inch phablet train. Like Apple did with the tablet market, the Japanese and Korean phone giants are actively carving out the phablet space for their own dominance. Phablets and tablets, typically devices with screen sizes of 8-inch of less, are expected to eclipse PC units by 2015,  according to figures by IDC . This shows there is a growing blending of devices 5-inches and above. 

It's a wise move on the phone maker's part to jump in on the bandwagon while the market is still fresh. If such a move proves true, proactively jumping on the phablet trend before it reaches its peak could help stave off further ongoing financial difficulty.

Topics: Nokia

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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