What is a phablet and is Apple launching one in May?

The new year means it is time to guess when Apple will announce the next new gadget or product line, something that has been teased by company CEO Tim Cook for some time. Most consumers are awaiting the long talked about "iWatch," but there is another possibility that has yet to be discussed — a phablet.

According to an article from BGR and citing Chinese and South Korean news sources, Apple will be releasing a device between a small iPad and a large iPhone this year. The speculation is that it will debut in May, feature an A8 processor and a 5-inch-plus display and essentially be a large version of the iPhone. For screen comparisons, the current iPhone 5s sports a 4-inch display, while the iPad Mini comes in at 7.9 inches.

While it may seem like an unnecessary product, there is evidence that it could be coming. Late Apple CEO Steve Jobs was on the record saying that 3.5-inches is the perfect size for a smartphone, but the larger iPhone 5s shows that the company is willing to go beyond that.

The more important piece of information is that larger phablets are growing in popularity. According to Technalysis Research, in 2014 175 million of these devices from other companies that are already on the market will be sold across the globe.

As always, time will tell if this turns out to be more than just a rumor. However, by partnering with an IT consulting firm that specializes in Mac integration, companies can be in a better position to adopt the technology if and when it becomes available.