iPhone 5s is world’s top smartphone, but phablets are on the rise

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Bigger iPhones are on the way, which is good news for Apple’s bottom line.

The iPhone 5s is the number one smartphone in 35 countries around the world, according to new research conducted by Counterpoint Technology Market Research.

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 came in second followed by the S4, Note 3 phablet, and iPhone 5c at fifth place. With larger 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhones on the horizon, Counterpoint notes that Apple will have another hit on its hands if it goes after the larger-screen smartphone market.

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“There are now 3 phablets in the top 10 list which reflects the ongoing trend of larger displays,” according to the report. “Almost 40% of the smartphones sold in May were phablets according to Counterpoint’s channel research across 35 countries. If Apple comes out with a phablet later this year it will instantly become a hit and top the list of phablets within two months of availability.”

While the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 looks on track for release in the fall, noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said that the 5.5-inch model’s release could be pushed back until closer to Christmas or even 2015 due to production issues.

A recent survey by ComScore found that the iPhone accounts for 42% of users in the U.S, making Apple the top smartphone maker ahead of Samsung with 28%. While today’s Counterpoint report doesn’t share specific numbers, it does note that the Galaxy S5 is a “quite distant number two in terms of (sell through) unit sales.”

The iPhone 5c is unsurprisingly not doing that well for only being on the market since September. It’s sitting at the number five spot just ahead of the ancient iPhone 4s. It will be interesting to see what Apple chooses to do with the 5c come this fall given its relative lack of success and heavy marketing push.

  • Grunt_at_the_Point

    “Counterpoint notes that Apple will have another hit on its hands if it goes after the larger-screen smartphone market”

    I don’t know. There are a lot yokels out there who think it is not going to happen.

  • Kevin Hodson

    Ya the number 5 smartphone is definitely not success… (Sarcasm)

  • mahadragon

    While I won’t argue that phablets are great (I definitely plan to get one), when I look at the chart above, all I see is Apple or Samsung (Xiaomi is designed for the Chinese market). You can make an argument that phablets are on the rise, but in reality, it’s Samsung on the rise. Samsung could have made all their devices 4.7″ or smaller and they still would have topped the list.

    People didn’t buy iPhone 5S because it has a huge screen (it only has 4″ screen). They bought the iPhone 5S because it’s Apple and they like the ecosystem, apps, and so forth, and it was the number one seller. Same goes with Samsung, people didn’t buy it because it had a huge screen (although that certainly helped). People bought the Galaxy S5 because they liked the features it brought.

    Nobody except Apple and Samsung has been able to make a profit selling smart phones. HTC doesn’t get it, LG doesn’t get it, Nokia doesn’t get it. The only 2 that get it are Apple and Samsung and both of these companies are going to sell a boatload of smart phones regardless of whether the screen size is 4″, 4 1/2″, 5 1/2″, 6″, or whatever.

  • PMB01

    Phablets are not a thing; no one will convince me of that. You either have a phone or a tablet. The S4 Mini is the only one of these Samsungs that qualifies as a phone; all the others make you look like a moron holding a tablet up to your face.

  • http://www.designstrategies.com Len Williams

    I have an iPhone 4S, upgraded 2 years ago from an original 2007 iPhone. I believe there’s definitely a market for large screen iPhones, and I’ll definitely be getting the 4.7″ model when it comes out. It will greatly improve web browsing, and it will be good for my aging eyes. I would bet that Apple’s strategy will be to have 3 screen sizes available: the current 4″, the 4.7″ and the 5.5″ to cover all the needs and wants of its customer base. Pure speculation, of course, but it makes a lot of sense to offer choices, just like they do with the 21″ and 27″ iMacs, and the iPad and iPad mini. People can vote with their wallets by buying what they want.

  • Joshua D.

    BS. These stats greatly lack Context just like 98% of all the BS stats Apple sites post.

    iphone 5s has been out for 10 months the Galaxy S5 hasn’t even been out long enough for this to be a fair comparison.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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