iPhone 6 ‘phablet’ will enter the fastest-growing smartphone category

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They’re big, they’re unwieldy, and they represent one-third of all handsets presently available worldwide.

According to new research undertaken by Canalys, around 34% of smartphones shipped worldwide have screens measuring upwards of five inches diagnoally. The rise in popularity of the so-called “phablet” (describing a smartphone with a screen between 5.0 and 6.9 inches) bodes very well for Apple, ahead of its eagerly anticipated 5.5-inch iPhone 6, which we fully expect to see arrive this September.

Canalys writes:

“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 planning to introduce two iPhone 6 variants in September. The first of these is likely to be a 4.7-inch handset, while the second will be a larger 5.5-inch phablet.

While Apple hasn’t yet revealed details about the phone, it is expected to sport a larger profile, super thin design, and curved edges — along with a relocated on/off switch and the twin volume buttons unified into a single rocker. Previous reports have stated that the 5.5 inch iPhone 6 was being delayed due to production setbacks, although it seems that whatever problems arose have not proven so severe, as most people expect the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 to arrive alongside its smaller sibling in September.

While Apple has typically kept shtum about the iPhone 6, most people are expecting it to sport a larger profile, super thin design and curved edges, along with a relocated on/off switch and the twin volume buttons unified into a single rocker.

Previous reports have stated that the 5.5 inch iPhone 6 was being delayed due to production setbacks, although these can’t be too severe if this report is to be believed and the phone will make its glorious arrival in September.
Read more at http://www.cultofmac.com/278293/iphone-6-land-early-august/#kSv8XjeLBixrHJIQ.99

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About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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