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.
“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.