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

  • sigzero

    The middle one looks perfect to me.

  • Z Odbuster

    great.. and in a year will sue everyone else claiming they had the idea for the design first…. ..

  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    The news media and Wall Street say Apple absolutely must enter this category to survive because supposedly no consumers want smartphones with smaller displays. Basically, anything the Android smartphone manufacturers do, Apple has to follow. It’s odd how so many people made do with smaller cellphones of yesteryear and suddenly those same people have no interest in pocketable smartphones. Even a 4″ display is bigger than what was available a few years back and yet consumers seemed satisfied. I’m really curious to see if iPhone sales jump because of the availability of a larger display. I hope iPhone sales explode but I’m doubtful about larger display iPhones driving sales because it’s being claimed that’s what consumers really want. Apple is still selling a bunch of older smaller display iPhones so there must be some other factors involved.

    • herbaled

      Did you not read this article? How can you say “no consumers want smartphones with smaller displays” when the larger screen smartphones only account for 34% of smartphones shipped worldwide?

      • RyanAlca

        Not larger screened, but 5″ and above. Which is the larger end of large, and approaching phablet. 4.3″-4.7″ is and should be considered normal size nowadays. And yes, 4.7″ can be used one handed and extremely pocketable.

    • RyanAlca

      They’re selling them because that’s all they offer. If Apple offered a 4-4.5 or larger screen in 2011 when the iPhone 4-4s was around people would have bought it then too. I know I would have. 3.5″ was too small back then, just like 4″ was too small even with the iPhone 5. I have the 5s because it’s an iPhone, but would’ve purchased a 4.7″ one had there been a choice. If the iPhone 6 somehow surprisingly doesn’t have a bigger screen this year I simply cannot hold off anymore, and will switch. Sure people did just fine before, but now there’s such a thing as big screen envy. And while you may not have it, many people including myself do : )

  • http://overreviewtech.blogspot.com/ Sergey Karchmit

    The icon layout will at most look like iPad Mini.

    I wish i could get bigger rows and columns on my iPad.

  • $43641445

    Possible mac rumors app in the near future?

  • Mark

    iphone shmiphone. give me an iWatch already

  • http://www.robgadv.com/ RobG

    I’ll take the big one. I have a Galaxy Note 3 right now and I LOVE the huge 5.7″ display. That and the Swype keyboard are the two things I love most about it.

    • RyanAlca

      I’m glad you like it, but the 4.7″ one is where I’m headed. Would take a 5″ one also, but 4.7″ is the sweet spot to me. If they do indeed make a 5.5″ one, I’ll most likely pass. But, maybe not : ) Just the thought of a galaxy note 3 with grids of icons sounds horrifying. I believe the grid looks terrible on iPad Mini. Acceptable on iPad Air though, because it’s more grown up like a laptop. The interface of the mini looks like an awkward teenager with acne.

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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