Phablets are a game-changing form factor, outpaced all other devices in usage growth

By Shawn Knight
Mar 5, 2015
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  1. phablets apple iphone yahoo samsung tablet galaxy note apps phablet flurry galaxy note 4 iphone 6 plus mobile web

    Phablets were once considered a gimmick or short-lived trend but as you look at the mobile landscape, it becomes clear that such thinking was flawed. In its latest report, mobile analytics and advertising firm Flurry found that large-screen smartphones aren’t just a fad but a game-changing form factor.

    Over the past year, usage of phablets like the Galaxy Note 4, Nexus 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus grew by 148 percent – easily outpacing all other devices in terms of usage growth. During the same period, full-size tablet usage fell 20 percent while small tablet use increased just 14 percent.

    flurry data phablet usage grows outpaces devices apple iphone yahoo samsung tablet galaxy note apps phablet flurry galaxy note 4 iphone 6 plus mobile web

    Usage of medium-sized phones such as the iPhone 5 grew by 38 percent year-over-year.

    Digging deeper, the Yahoo-owned company discovered just how popular phablets have become in terms of media consumption. Such is especially the case in the categories of sports, news & magazines and music, media & entertainment. For example, consumption of sports apps grew 427 percent more on phablets than any other type of device.

    flurry data phablet usage grows outpaces devices apple iphone yahoo samsung tablet galaxy note apps phablet flurry galaxy note 4 iphone 6 plus mobile web

    Flurry points out that while it appears as though phablets are taking market share from the tablet, the true victim here is the mobile web. Due to the rising popularity of mobile applications, only 12 percent of time spent on mobile devices is dedicated to web usage. The rest of the time – 88 percent – is invested in mobile apps.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2015
  2. Tekkaraiden

    Tekkaraiden TS Evangelist Posts: 991   +90

    Wasn't the same said about tablets and netbooks?
    rpjkw11 likes this.
  3. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 913   +388

    I've had 3 since 2010...
    Dell Streak 5 in 2010, people thought "what the heck do you need with a phone so big!"
    Then, I got the Note1, when it first came out, loved it, but the battery after 2+ years was
    starting to not stay charged, and even with a new battery, I couldn't make it through the day.
    Now I have a Huawei Mate2 (6.1" screen), battery 2-3 days easy.
    Phablets are here to stay!
  4. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,631   +432

    Yup, and I was one of them.

    The difference with phones is they are always with you, and if you want to be able to read off the screen without holding it inches from your nose, you get a bigger screen. If you want to play games with onscreen controls, you get a bigger screen. If you want to look at pictures without having to squint and zoom, you get a bigger screen. If you want to playback video, a bigger screen is better. Not to mention, bigger phones have bigger batteries. All the above are reasons to get a phablet.

    Tablets and Netbooks are in-between products. Why get a tablet that can't make calls when you got a phablet that fits in your bag or pocket? Why get a ~10" Netbook when you have Ultrabooks that are more powerful, only slightly larger and probably lighter?

    The masses don't want to spend extra money on something so big when they can do it on something smaller that is always with them anyway if they don't have to. Tablets and Netbooks are niche products, and not even good ones. Phablets are tablets and Netbooks in one device with the better form factor.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
    Capaill likes this.
  5. Hopefully this doesn't mean they ditch the small phone market. I think the rise in phablet sales can be explained by curiosity rather than practicality. I don't need a brick sized phone to carry around.
  6. Capaill

    Capaill TS Addict Posts: 291   +93

    I can see phablets filling a niche. Business people who like the idea of having a PDA in their phones and people who like phones that are "different". But the majority of people are turned off by the large size and will reject the idea of the phablet. So it's a limited market that will eventually reach saturation. Manufacturers will either need to innovate to encourage existing phablet owners to upgrade. Or will have to implement hardware failures or battery life reduction to force people to upgrade :)
  7. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,631   +432

    This article and the chart therein prove phablets are no longer a niche product.
  8. matrix86

    matrix86 TS Guru Posts: 812   +26

    I hate phablets. Give me a 4.7 inch screen and I'm happy.
  9. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    I must say I have been happy with my 4.7 inch smart phone but I would jump at the chance of getting a larger smart phone. Making traditional phone calls is one of the functions I least use. My phone is mainly used to access real time data on the internet. A larger screen would be invaluable to me.

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