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Will Samsung's Next Big Thing Be Mega?

By Evan Niu, CFA - Apr 6, 2013 at 7:00PM

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Samsung may be about to venture even further into phablet territory with upcoming Galaxy Mega models. How big is too big?

Always one to give just about anything a shot, smartphone heavyweight Samsung may be preparing to go even bigger with its "next big thing." The South Korean conglomerate was rumored to be launching a smartphone with a 5.8-inch display, calling it a "Fonblet" instead of the phablet term that's become unavoidable these days.

A recent round of rumors out of SamMobile now suggests that Samsung has realized how terrible a name "Fonblet" is, and instead has decided to rebrand its upcoming jumbo models under the Galaxy Mega moniker. The pair of Google (GOOGL 4.20%) Android devices will carry 5.8-inch and 6.3-inch displays and will be called Galaxy Mega 5.8 and Galaxy Mega 6.3, respectively.

Samsung's current flagship phablet is the Galaxy Note 2, which sports a 5.5-inch display, showing that Samsung is intent to continue experimenting with every imaginable form factor and everything in between. That's the exact opposite strategy that primary rival Apple (AAPL 4.08%) has employed, as the iPhone maker has historically released only one new model per year and has changed the display size a total of once in its lifetime.

In a recent Bloomberg Businessweek profile describing Samsung's ascent to the top of the smartphone market, analyst Benedict Evans is quoted as saying: "Samsung makes every kind of handset in every market in every size at every price. They're not stopping to think. They're just making more phones." On the other hand, Apple says it thinks long and hard at any changes to the iPhone.

Still, evidence is mounting that the phablet rise is mostly a niche phenomenon. Flurry Analytics found that only 7% of all Android devices fall into the phablet category (5-inch to 6.9-inch), which would include both of these rumored Mega models. The mainstream market still highly prefers smartphones in the medium-size category (3.5-inch to 4.9-inch).

Don't expect Galaxy Mega to dominate the mainstream anytime soon.

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