Phablets will grow in 2013, but just how big can they get?

"I just don't see the wider web community targeting phablets yet. It's still too early."

What is the ideal screen size?

Whatever the drawbacks , consumers are buying phablets, though Steinberg sees the form grabbing more "enthusiast" users than casual ones, Asian markets aside.

But phablets present at least one definite benefit for a consumer looking to cut the clutter out their life - a phone and tablet in one that eliminates the need for both.

For its part, Huawei said that as global economic pressures mount, it's found consumers are receptive to the benefits of one device combining the functions of a couple.

Though display size is largely a question of user preference, Steinberg sees the industry trying to hit on the "magic silver bullet" device that gives those users just what they want - all the function of a phone with the size benefits of a tablet.

So, how big would that silver bullet be? Not above half a foot, as far as Steinberg's concerned.

"Above 6 inches gets awkward - you get into a no mans land," he said.

The right screen size for the larger phone set, in Steinberg's estimation, lies between 5.5 inches and 5.8 inches.

It may take manufacturers several years to hammer out the optimal big display, but until then the space should continue to grow.

ABI estimated that more than 150 million phablets will ship this year, making up 18 percent of all smartphones sold. The majority of those phones, Flood wrote in his post, will house screens between 4.6 inches and 5 inches, with four out of every five phablets shipped landing in this area.

What's more, Flood wrote that "we will probably see all major mobile OEMs introducing a phablet model" in 2013.

After this initial expansion, Flood predicts that growth will slow gradually from 2014 onward, and expects phablets to comprise around 25 percent of smartphone shipments in 2018.

Steady, not breakneck, adoption could simply be the nature of these beastly machines.

"Phablets turn heads," Steinberg said, "but whether they win hearts and minds, that's the question."

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.