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Phablet Phone and Computer

by Ty Mc about a year ago in history
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Combining phones with tablet PCs.

Image of a Galaxy S9+ phablet phone

Phablets are devices that many people have in their pockets without even knowing. Simply put, phablets are mobile phones that are able to combine that aspect of a smartphone and a tablet computer together in order to create very useful digital devices. This is very useful for people who cannot afford a tablet computer (a computer that can do most of the functions of a personal computer, but may lack some input devices and out-of-the-box developer features). In a world where over 3 billion people own smartphones around the world since 2020 (according tot the website statista.com), many of whom may have to choose between having a cellphone and having an actual computer.

Phablets have only recently reached the mainstream, but they have been around in history much earlier than the current generation of tech users. The earliest Phablet is the AT&T EO 440 created in 1993. PC Magazine calls the device in one of their articles “the first true phablet” and was around the size of a small clipboard. It had multiple ports for connecting to different devices. There is a port for connecting to a modem for a wired internet connection, a parallel port, a serial port, and a VGA out port for displaying information to a monitor. The device even came with a wireless cellular modem you could connect to your phablet for some early wireless internet, a built-in microphone with a speaker, and a free subscription/account to AT&T’s email & faxing service (now defunct). Despite being an older digital device (at least when compared to today’s modern touchscreen mobile phablets), it works pretty well and was praised at the time for being simple, easy to use, and having some tightly integrated useful apps. Unfortunately, this EO computer was too ahead of its time. The phablet only sold 10,000 units and Eo, Inc. - the company under AT&T as a subsidiary that designed the technology - failed to meet its profit margins and was shut down by its parent company.

It would be many years later before a new marketable phablet would be produced and released to the public. The HTC Advantage, released in 2007, was the next mass-market phablet to be released after the EO 440 as a Windows Mobile Pocket PC sold by T-Mobile. It was both a smartphone and a small Windows PC at the same time with the ability to read PDF files, hold Java apps, run email clients with the same level of detail as a email client running on a PC browser, Bluetooth/Wifi capabilities, and a 20 channel integrated GPS system. That same year, Nokia released the N810 WiMax Edition phablet that ran the Maemo Linux operating system, making it the first phablet to run Linux. In 2010, Dell released the Dell Mini 5 phablet that was the first device of its kind to run the Android operating system. The Iconia Smart was released about one year later with a camera that allowed users to perform video calls with others.

These devices of the past paved the way for the phablets of today that plenty of users enjoy. I have a separate phone that I use for business given to me by my employer, the iPhone 11, which is a modern phablet (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phablet). The new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro also count as phablet mobile phones. Another line of phablets for Android are the Pixel XL phones made by Google (Pixel 1/2/3/3a/4/4a XL ) and the Samsung Galaxy Note devices. Even my personal phone, the Samsung Galaxy S9+, counts as a phablet and I can use it to type up proper documents, design basic software scripts, print documents, and do all the things that were once only possible on a tablet computer or laptop or desktop. Learning about the phablets we have in our pockets have allowed me to see how far mobile technology has come...


About the author

Ty Mc

I love to write fictional stories, articles about history, and blog about practically any topic that pops in my head. Hopefully, you can read some of my stories and find something that interests you!

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