PhabletForecastBII

KEY POINTS

  • Phablets, which we define as smartphones with 5- to 7-inch screens, are the fastest-growing smartphone category. We forecast global phablet shipments will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27% in the next five years, to 1.5 billion units shipped in 2019. That includes nearly 150% growth this year alone. The phablet growth rate is almost double the 15% compound annual rate at which we estimate the smartphone market as a whole will grow over the same period.
  • Phablets will make up 59% of total global smartphone shipments in 2019. That's up from 35% this year.
  • Phablet sales are cannibalizing tablet sales globally. Tablet demand has whithered. Tablet shipments growth slowed to an underwhelming 9% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2014. By 2019, there will be three times as many phablets shipped as tablets.
  • Phablets have accelerated the trend toward consumer time-spend on visually oriented social media and messaging apps. Larger-screen real estate encourages sustained on-the-go engagement on content-centric social networks and apps, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and LINE. More than half of activity on phablets is tied to social networks. 

Phablets Are Defining The New Standard In Smartphones

SmartphonesPhabletsBII

The days of the 3.5-inch or 4.0-inch screen are gone. The entire smartphone market has been trending toward the phablet category over the past few quarters.

Again, we're defining a phablet as a smartphone with a screen between 5 inches and 7 inchesWhile this is a broad definition, the advantage is that it captures one of the most important trends in the smartphone market in the last couple of years, reflected in some of the most popular handsets, like the Samsung Galaxy S4 released in 2013 (5 inches) and S5 launched in 2014 (5.1 inches).

In part, the massive success generated by the Galaxy line is responsible for nudging all phone manufacturers toward the the phablet.

The iPhone line has kept to smaller screen sizes so far, but the expectation is that later this year Apple will be launching two large-screened phones. One of these<span style="font-size: 15px; line-height: [...]