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Ahead Of Apple's Bigger, 5.5-Inch iPhone 6, One-Third Of All Smartphones Are Phablets

Ahead Of Apple's Bigger, 5.5-Inch iPhone 6, One-Third Of All Smartphones Are Phablets

May 15, 2014

Apple’s anticipated 5.5-inch iPhone 6 certainly won’t be the only phablet on the market later this year when it finally launches. Instead, as a recent report notes, one-third of all handsets presently available worldwide have screens which measure (diagonally) five inches or more.

The news comes from research undertaken by Canalys (via MacRumors), which indeed demonstrates that around 34 percent of handsets shipped worldwide have a display which measures five inches or above. As such, “phablets” – a term used to describe smartphone devices with screens of around 5.0 to 6.9 inches – are growing in popularity in countries around the world.

Canalys notes that as of Q1 2014, 66 percent of the devices polled had a screen size of less than five inches. Apple’s four-inch iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5 (including its earlier handsets) all fit into this category.

Out of the remaining 34 percent, some 22 percent had a screen size of 5.0 to 5.4 inches, while 10 percent had a screen size of between 5.5-inches and 5.9-inches. Finally, an even smaller percentage – just two percent – had screens which were bigger than 6.0-inches.

Canalys explained:

Smart phones with 5" and larger screens grew 369% - a substantially greater rate of growth than the overall market. Worldwide, they represented just over a third of shipments (34%), and in Greater China the figure hit 39%, and 43% in Asia Pacific. (…)

Consumers now expect high-end devices to have large displays, and Apple’s absence in this market will clearly not last long. It is notable that 5" and above displays featured on almost half (47%) of smart phones with an unlocked retail price of US$500 or more. Of the remaining 53% of high-end smart phones, 87% were iPhones.

Apple is indeed expected to bring two devices to the market later this year – a 4.7-inch handset and a 5.5-inch smartphone – and though we’re unsure whether one, both, or neither will actually be called Apple’s “iPhone 6,” Cupertino nevertheless appears to recognize the growing worldwide interest in phablet-style devices. We’ve talked about so-called “phablet demand” before, and it looks as if Apple is finally set to accommodate the growing number of users calling for a larger iPhone.

Though a previous report claimed that the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 could launch as early as August (with the 5.5-inch device appearing the month after, in September), due to the fact that Cupertino is restricting staff vacation time for the month of September only, we’re expecting Apple to maintain its traditional launch cycle for the iPhone.

Both handsets should be thinner, lighter, sapphire-coated, and powered by the next-generation “Apple A8” processor. We’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.

In the meantime, see: Facebook Update Allows Users To Create Posts Offline, A Multiplayer Flappy Bird Will Return To The App Store In August, and AppAdvice Daily: Lunch With Tim Cook Is Not Cheap, iTunes Gift Card Giveaway And Android iMessage Bug.

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