Industry watchers have begun noticing it in the last few months -- more and more users now favor using smartphones with bigger display screens. But now, there is hard data to support the idea that we are now entering into the age of phablets.
Flurry, a mobile analytics firm owned by Yahoo, has released a new report that offers information on how the use of large-screened handsets have grown over the last few months. The firm tracks 1.6 billion devices each month, with the purpose of studying active smartphone usage by screen size around the world. It specifically focused on the top 875 devices that it claims made up 87 percent of sessions in March 2015. And Flurry found that smartphones with big displays have more than tripled their usage share since 2014.
At the start of 2014, Flurry found that only 6 percent of active users were on phablets. That is essentially nothing compared to the 68 percent usage share of medium-sized smartphones (devices with screens of between 3.5 inches and 4.9 inches).
However, by March of 2015, the usage share of phablets has ballooned to 20 percent. As for medium-sized smartphones, their usage share is down to 59 percent, a decrease of almost 10 percentage points.
Even the usage share of tablets are being eaten away by phablets. In January of 2014, tablets enjoyed a 15 percent usage share. As of March 2015, their usage share is down to 12 percent.
The popularity of Apple's newest flagship devices, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, may have something to do with it. Both handsets feature larger display screen sizes compared to previous iPhone models. The iPhone 6 Plus definitely belongs to the phablet category, with its 5.5 inches display screen. The very high demand for this device has surely contributed to the increased overall usage of phablets.
Apple may have had a hit with its iPhone 6 Plus, but overall, Android remains the king among phablets. Of course, this should be no surprise to everybody. After all, we are already used to expecting a wide range of Android smartphones getting released every year, and phablets are no exception. Flurry's data certainly backs this up. According to its report, about one third (36 percent) of Android users are using phablets versus a meager 4 percent for iOS users.
More tellingly, the volume of phablets being made today has also increased. Back in 2013, only 10 percent of overall Android phones are made up of phablets. But now, that percentage has risen to 27 percent.
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