During the first quarter of 2015, phablets in general enjoyed very good sales in the United States. And according to a report published by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, it appears that the hottest selling phablet in America during the first three months of the year is the iPhone 6 Plus, one of Apple's two latest iPhone models released last year.
Phablets generally include smartphones that feature display screen sizes of at least 5.5 inches. Of all the smartphones sold in the US in the first quarter of the year, phablets made up 21 percent of all smartphone units that were bought by customers. This market share is definitely a major improvement on last year's figures -- in the first quarter of 2014, phablets only accounted 6 percent of the total smartphone sales in the country.
A big credit goes to the iPhone 6 Plus, which has contributed greatly in making phablets more popular and in-demand. Indeed, the bigger iPhone 6 model managed to take in 44 percent of all phablets sold in the US within the period spanning the months of January to March this year. Interestingly, customers who bought phablets during the first quarter of the year specified that the foremost reason they purchased a phablet was the device's large screen size (this was the number one reason cited by 43 percent of iOS users and 47 percent of Android users).
Launched alongside its smaller sibling the iPhone 6, the bigger iPhone 6 Plus signified Apple's first shot at catering to consumers who prefer handsets with generous display screen sizes. Android devices have been offering phablets for years, and perhaps Apple thought it was high time it was offering something that could compete, especially with big-screened handsets being offered by its rival Samsung. It paid off remarkably, allowing Apple to take the smartphone sales crown, even for just a while.
And even though Samsung has since retaken the throne last quarter, iPhones continue to enjoy great sales. According to Kantar's data, iPhones lead in smartphone sales at AT&T (iPhones accounted for 59 percent of all smartphones sold), Sprint (50 percent), and Verizon Wireless (43 percent). At T-Mobile, Samsung lead with a share of 42 percent.
When it comes to new iPhone buyers during the first quarter of 2015, 11.4 percent of them switched from an Android handset. During the same quarter last year, that percentage was at 14.6 percent. Among new Android customers, 5.9 percent of them switched from an iOS device -- during the same time a year ago, 9.8 percent of them did the same thing. Based on these numbers, perhaps mobile consumers are not as switch-happy as they were before.
Other information from Kantar's report reveal that the new iPhones currently make up 18 percent of all iPhones in the US. As for the iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, and iPhone 5C devices, they combine to account for 64 percent of all iPhones in the country.
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