Phablet shipments will reach 318 million units in 2015, overtaking projected shipments of 233 million tablets, said IDC.
Phablet shipments (smartphones with screen sizes from 5.5 to less than 7 inches) will reach 175 million units worldwide in 2014.
IDC says phablets will be passing the 170 million portable PCs expected to ship during the same period.
IDC expects more consumers to shift back toward larger-sized tablets with their next purchase.
“With Apple expected to join the space in the coming weeks, we anticipate even more attention on phablets as larger screen smartphones become the new norm,” said Melissa Chau, senior research manager with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.
Phablets will grow from 14 percent of the worldwide smartphone market in 2014 to 32.2 percent in 2018.
In 2014, smartphones will represent about 70 percent of the total market. By 2018 that will grow to 75.6 percent.
While consumers in places like the United States and Western Europe are likely to own a combination of PCs, tablets, and smartphones, in many places the smartphone — regardless of size — will be the one connected device of choice, said IDC.
In 2013, the average price of phablet was $568 against regular smartphone at $320, while those prices will drop to $397 and $291, respectively, in 2014.