April 30, 2015 Last Updated 11:05 am

New Flurry Analytics data shows mobile device owners still moving to larger screen devices

Despite the tech world’s focus on smartwatches (and the Apple Watch in particular), buyers of mobile devices continue to migrate towards models with larger screens

The app analytics unit of Yahoo!, Flurry Analytics, today released new data on the changing look of the mobile device market, trying to determine whether the move to larger screens, so called-phablets, is continuing. It is, Flurry found.

“It seems consumers worldwide are smitten with the combination of a large screen size and good old fashioned cellular telephony,” said Jarah Euston, VP, Analytics and Marketing at Flurry. “Indeed, in some early adopter markets like Taiwan and Hong Kong, the share of active users on phablets is 50 percent. Six months after the iPhone 6 Plus launch, phablets are now the second most used form factor, after medium phones (such as the iPhone 6).”


“The growth in phablets from only a year ago is staggering: In January 2014 phablets accounted for only 6 percent of the used devices,” said Euston. “In March 2015 the phablet share more than tripled to 20 percent! This growth has come mostly at the expense of medium phones, which lost 9 percent share in the past year. Full-size tablets and small phones also suffered losses in share while small tablets held their ground at 7 percent.”

Flurry is a mobile analytics company founded in 2005 and acquired by Yahoo! in July of last year. Yahoo recently moved the home page of Flurry from its own URL to inside of the Yahoo! Developer Network.

Android devices dominate the phablet space, while Apple still is known for its mid-sized iPhones. Of course, while there are many difference sized devices for Android, for many different manufacturers, Apple has only a limited number of devices available, generally one new model per category. Flurry found, for instance, that only around 4 percent of all owners of iOS devices own the iPhone 6 Plus, 8 percent own the iPad mini.



Jarah Euston

On the Android side of things, the trend towards larger screens is obvious. Use of phablets has jumped, from around 10 percent in early last year, to 27 percent in data compiled in March of 2015.

“It might take some time for iOS enthusiasts to hop on the phablet bandwagon,” said Euston. “Since the launch of these two devices, there have been approximately 2.75 times the number of iPhone 6s as Pluses. For iOS users, the phone is still winning over the phablet.”


The growth of the phablet category could, long term, be good news for publishers. In March, Flurry said that “the phablet has become the ultimate media-consumption device.” They found that the Music, Media & Entertainment, Sports, and News & Magazines categories were the ones that were reporting the largest app growth usage. While sales of such tablets as the iPad have seen declines in year-over-year sales comparisons, sales of larger screen mobile devices continue to grow.

Meanwhile, IDC reports that the consumer market for tablets is shrinking, with worldwide tablet shipments falling 5.9 percent in the first quarter of 2015 (see full story here).

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