Phablets Claim 21% of Smartphone Sales in First Quarter

Apple iPhone 6 dial buttons menu

New research from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows that phablets made up 21% of smartphone sales for the first quarter of 2015, up from just 6% during the same period in 2014. Phones like the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and almost every device on the Samsung Galaxy and Samsung Note lines, are gaining tremendous ground in the United States, changing consumer expectations in a shift toward larger, more capable smartphones.

Phablets are defined as smartphones with a display screen of 5.5+ inches. These larger phones are sought out for their over-sized screens and tablet-like functionality. Nearly every major smartphone manufacturer now offers phablet models of their best-selling devices, including the fast-growing startup Xiaomi from China.

The trend toward phablets comes largely from Asian markets, such as Taiwan and Hong Kong. In these countries, 5.5+ inch displays account for 50% of smartphone users, according to Flurry Analytics. In December, 2014, Netbiscuits predicted that phablets would represent 25% of web traffic from smartphones by the end of the first quarter.

The new Apple iPhone 6 Plus claimed the majority of the supersized smartphone market, representing 44% of phablet sales in the first quarter. The iPhone brand as a whole represented 59% of smartphone sales for AT&T customers, as well as 43% of Verizon customers and 50% of Sprint customers. Samsung was most dominant in the T-Mobile network, claiming 42% of smartphone sales for the self-proclaimed “uncarrier” network.

About John Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of SaveOnPhone.com. He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers long distance and cell phone topics for SaveOnPhone.