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Nokia Will Join the Phablet Game, Challenging Samsung's Dominance


The market for large-screened smartphones is growing, and sources say that Nokia will debut its own phablet at the end of September.

Reuters has just reported that Nokia will unveil new, large-screen smartphones by the end of next month at an event in New York, according to sources familiar with the plan.
Samsung's first Galaxy Note

Those sources did not reveal any details regarding price or technical specifications, but did say that Nokia's plans include a phablet (phone + tablet), or a smartphone with a screen that is 5 inches or larger.

Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) is the current leader in phablets with its 5.55" Galaxy Note II. After being released in Europe and South Korea, the company's new phablet, the Samsung Galaxy Mega, which is sold in two sizes (5.8" or 6.3"), will make its American debut on Friday. AT&T (NYSE:T) will roll out the new phablet first, followed by Sprint (NYSE:S) and US Cellular (NYSE:USM).

For some context on how big that 6.3" Mega is, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad mini has a 7.9" screen and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nexus 7 screen size comes in at 7.02".

Already competing with Samsung is LG (KRX:066570) with its Optimus G Pro, released in April and comparable in size to the Galaxy Note II; Asustek (TPE:2357) with its FonePad, notable for boasting a full 7-inch display; and Sony (NYSE:SNE) with the Xperia Z Ultra, which has a 6.44" screen and the ability to take notes with either a stylus or a regular pencil or pen. Huawei (SHE:002502) has a phablet as well, its 6.1" Ascend Mate, and HTC (TPE:2498) is developing a new device, the purported 5.9" HTC One. Richard Yu, the CEO of Huawei, has called the phablet the smartphone of the future because of its "all-in-one" nature.

Nokia has the third largest share of the American smartphone market, a paltry 4% behind Android's 51.5% and iOS's 42.5%, though it does have a commanding lead of the Windows (NASDAQ:MSFT) Phone market, with an 85% market share. Making a play into the growing phablet segment may prove a solid step for growing Nokia's consumer base.

For more on Nokia, see my story from yesterday: Nokia Dominates Windows Phone, but Still, the Bar Is Set Very Low.

Follow me on Twitter: @JoshWolonick and @Minyanville
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