If phablets are any indication of an economy on the upswing, then the prognosis is good. Following strong holiday sales, both phablet sales and use continue to rise as of January 2015, according to eMarketer.com. Phablets are an emerging mobile device that is larger than the traditional smartphone and smaller than a tablet and that offers the technological benefits of both in a convenient size.

Recent data released by Flurry Analytics on its May 5, 2014 blog, reveals that global mobile app sessions on phablet devices increased by a nearly 150 percent year over year in January 2015. The growth is particularly significant when viewed in comparison to the average overall growth in the entire mobile industry, which was 78 percent for the same period, wrote eMarketer.com. Specifically, the change, by device, year over year in January 2015 was:

  • Small smartphones—smartphones that are 3.6 inches and smaller: -16 percent
  • Medium smartphones—smartphones that are 3.6 to 4.9 inches: 38 percent
  • Phablets—5.0 to 6.9 inches: 148 percent
  • Small tablets—7.0 to 8.4 inches: 14 percent
  • Full-size tablets—8.5 inches and larger: -20 percent

The more expansive screen sizes of new smartphones from key industry drivers—take, for instance, the iPhone6 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4—accounts for some of the industry growth seen in January, notes eMarketer.com. Meanwhile, medium smartphones—iPhone 4 and 5—saw a mobile app use increase of 38 percent in the same period. Small tablets growth was just 14 percent, likely because, while they are similar in size and technology to phablets, users are unable to make telephone calls on small tablets. Small phone mobile app usage dropped by 16 percent, while full-size tablets dropped 29 percent during the same period.

Mobile apps did not significantly grow in just the phablet sector. Other large screen devices took an increased share of mobile website visits. Research conducted by Chitika found that North America website traffic attributed to smartphones with a screen size of 5-plus inches increased some 160 percent in the period from September 2013 and September 2014, from just under 7 percent to almost 1 percent according to eMarketer.com. Data also released in January 2015 by J.P. Morgan, indicated that the average smartphone screen size, worldwide, increased to 5.1 inches in 2014, which is up from 4.6 inches in 2013, eMarketer.com wrote.

According to eMarketer.com, as we continue to see larger screen devices increase in popularity, the phablet may become the next new category in smartphones.


Consumers’ Pockets Make Room for Phablets: Mobile app sessions via phablets soar; eMarketer, March 13, 2015.