Phablets, or smartphones with screens between 5 and 7 inches, are taking over. In the first quarter of 2014, they accounted for one-third of global smartphone shipments, buoyed by 369% year-over-year growth.
So what are people doing on their phablets? Are they taking over duties once held by tablets? Are they expanding smartphone usage?
Phablet users use social networking apps and sites more often than smartphone and tablet users, according to Opera Mediaworks, an ad network. More than half of the ad network’s ad impressions served to phablets were from social apps and sites. Smartphones and tablets saw a much smaller share of their impressions come from social media.
The rise of the phablet has coincided with the explosion of the “visual web.”
That is, over the last year and a half, there has been immense growth in social networks that are focused primarily on sharing self-curated, rich media content, including images and videos.
One example of how phablets can help users get the most out of visual sharing apps is Snapchat — the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phablet device, with its large screen and stylus, allows users to easily draw and write on their Snapchat photos.
In a new report from BI Intelligence, we look at growth trajectory of the phablet market and survey the behaviour patterns of phablet users compared to those of tablet, smartphone, and desktop PC users. In turn, we look at how phablets have altered the smartphone market and cannibalised demand for tablets.
Here are of the key points about the phablet market:
- Phablets are the fastest-growing smartphone category. We forecast global phablet shipments will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27% in the next five years, which is almost double the 15% compound rate for the smartphone market over the same period.
- Phablet shipments will hit 1.5 billion in 2019. With that, phablets will account for 59% of total global smartphone shipments during that year, which is up from an expected 35% this year.
- Phablet sales are cannibalising tablet sales globally. Tablet demand has whithered. By 2019, there will be three times as many phablets shipped as tablets.
In full, the report:
- Forecasts total full-year shipments for the phablet market between 2014 and 2019.
- Discusses the increasing popularity of the phablet and its effect on the larger global smartphone market.
- Revises our previous tablet market forecast down to reflect the phablet’s cannibalization of tablet demand.
- Outlines phablet users’ social media-centric behaviour patterns and correlates it with the rise of visually oriented social networks and messaging apps.
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