Barclays Capital‘s Ben Reitzes notes that his colleagues expect phablets to dominate the growth of smartphone shipment, determining a rise of 105% between 2012 and 2015, from 27 million units to 230 million.
Because of this, the one-handed use of the iPhone 5 is less important since phone calls are becoming less important than navigation, texting, videos, books and Web access for many.
In addition, the larger screen seems to be more popular outside of the US and the phablet has significant momentum in China.
Reitzes believes Apple may launch an iPhone 5S by mid-2013 and a low-cost model version aimed at emerging markets.
As for an iPhone model with a 5-inch screen, such a device could arrive in the last quarter of this year or early 2014.
“We believe the most important advances for the iPhone in 2013 will be actually be improvements to iOS and its services, which can expand the market for Apple,” Reitzes notes.
“We believe Apple can turn perceptions around with a real move into payments, an integrated iOS-led television service and improvements to iCloud (including subscription-based services).”