The Huawei PhoPad is the latest in a line of what appears to be a surprisingly large number of permutations that can be created from the words tablet, smartphone, and pad. Already, we have the generic phablet, which we use to refer to smartphones that are around five inches and above; the fonblet, which Samsung says is the generic term that we should use for the Galaxy Note 3; and the PadFone, the Asus device which fuses the smartphone and tablet together. Even the words Tabphone and Smartpad have been taken by lesser-known manufacturers.
So what is the Huawei PhoPad? It turns out to be a name that the Chinese company wants to trademark in the United States via the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Huawei has not specified what the PhoPad actually is, but speculations suggest that given its name, it could be a tablet-sized smartphone, or what we commonly call a phablet.
Of course, Huawei is no stranger to making these tablet-sized smartphones. The Ascend Mate, and its upcoming successor, the Ascend Mate 2, both measure 6.1 inches, allowing them to be classified under the phablet category. Whether the PhoPad will be larger or smaller than the Ascend Mate and Mate 2, however, is still unknown at this point. Another possibility, of course, is for the Ascend Mate line to be entirely rebranded as the PhoPad. There also exists the chance that the PhoPad would be more like the ASUS Padfone, and be a smartphone that can be slid into a tablet, especially with ASUS expanding such product line with the Padfone Mini and the Padfone Infinity. We could have answers as early as next month during CES 2014. Huawei is expected to unveil several devices at CES, including the Ascend Mate 2 (if it is indeed a separate product) and the Glory/Honor 4. Huawei would probably give us our first look at the PhoPad during such trade show, as well.
At any rate, whether Huawei reveals a whole new product line or a rebranded Ascend Mate, it is unsurprising for such company to be mulling a new phablet-sized product. Phablets, says the research firm IDC, are growing more popular, according to the the rising shipments of such devices recorded this year.