The Medium-Sized Smartphone Remains Dominant In Mobile

Despite the chatter surrounding tablets and phablets, the 3.5-inch to 4.9-inch smartphone screen is still the mobile industry’s sweet spot.

According to app analytics company Flurry, these medium-sized smartphones represented 69 per cent of devices on Flurry’s platform in February, as well as 72 per cent of active app users and 76 per cent of app sessions.

Flurry says that over 1 billion smartphones and tablets come into contact with its platform every month. For this study, they narrowed their focus to the top 200 devices, which together account for 80 per cent of app usage.

Phablets — defined as devices between 4.9 inches and 7 inches in screen size — accounted for only 2 per cent of the devices.

Based on Flurry’s stated mobile installed base of 1 billion devices, a 2 per cent market share translates to 20 million phablets floating around. For a product that was only introduced in late 2011 and is still largely dominated by one brand, that’s not bad. Apple’s iPad didn’t sell dramatically more units in its first 12 months in existence. 

Phablets even appear to be slightly overindexing in terms of their app usage. They account for 2 per cent of devices versus 3 per cent of app sessions. Although full-sized tablets overindex quite a bit more in this same manner, the data indicates that phablets could potentially be a robust app consumption device one day.    

Click here for a larger version of this chart.

Distribution of device models, users, and sessions by form factor

In terms of platforms, Android supports the most screen sizes and form factors, which contributes to its fragmentation problem. On the other hand, it also completely owns the phablet market. If phablets do well with consumers, Android should reap considerable rewards. 

Click here for a larger version of this chart.

form factor by platform

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