Flurry finds phablets are ‘insignificant’ and a ‘fad’

By , Apr 2, 2013

Making phone call on Samsung Galaxy Note 8

There has been debate whether Apple should offer an iPhone with a larger screen, competing with Android selling what some have dubbed ‘phablets’ for spanning both phones and tablets. Now comes a well-known mobile research firm calling phablets just ‘a fad.’

In a note to mobile developers entitled “Size Matters for Connected Devices, Phablets Don’t,” analytics firm Flurry Monday said phablets comprise only a single-digit portion of devices compared to mid-size phones and large tablets, such as the iPhone and iPad…

“Phablets appear to make up an insignificant part of the device installed base, and do not show disproportionately high enough app usage to justify support,” the firm’s Mary Ellen Gordon, PhD blogged.

According to Flurry, phablets with screens between 5 inches and 6.9 inches account for only two percent of devices it saw during February, registering a similar amount of active phablet users and sessions.

By comparison, small tablets – such as the iPad mini – between 7 inches and 8.4 inches comprise six percent of devices. However, full-size tablets, such as the iPad, account for seven percent of devices and thirteen percent of both active users and app sessions, according to Flurry.

As for smartphones, 69 percent of the devices Flurry detected had screens between 3.5 inches and 4.9 inches.That size range also had 72 percent of acive users and more than 75 percent of app sessions.

device-dist-flurry

“From our study, consumers most prefer and use apps on medium-sized smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy smartphones and full0sized tablets like the iPad,” Gordon wrote.

Although sixteen percent of devices they detected were under 3.5 inches, the majority were BlackBerries which had only seven percent of active users and only four percent of app sessions.

Another chart by Flurry illustrated the percent of active users by device form factor and mobile operating system. For Apple, 74 percent of iOS users – or nearly three out of four – were on an iPhone while 24 percent were on a full-size iPad.

Just how Android dominates the phablet market can be seen showing seven percent of phablets are Android, versus two percent overall. In the case of Android, 70 percent of users of Google’s operating system were on a mid-size smartphone, with fourteen percent using a small smartphone, likely a BlackBerry.

flurry-device-size-os

Another interesting number appears when we look at which activity is most popular with each device form factor. By a huge margin, tablets are the preferred platform for gaming, while by an equally large percent medium-sized smartphones are used for reading books and viewing videos.

Flurry explains the difference, suggesting videos are often watched on-the-go by smartphones while tablets are used for videos when at home or at the office. More videos and books should be viewed on tablets and the devices expand their reach, reasons the firm.

In the end, the analytics firm suggests developer – specifically game makers – concentrate their efforts on tablets, foregoing work on small smartphones or cross-over phablets.

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  • http://www.eraser.org B. Braun

    This reminds me a Quote from Steve Jobs “If you want p0rn go Android”
    So, the same here if you want a Phablet go Android!

    • Bob

      Why can’t you watch porn on iOS?

      • seyss

        porn apps

      • http://www.eraser.org B. Braun

        You cant’t buy any porn related Apps/Movies etc. from Apple, while I am pretty shure you can watch them on websites via Safari.

  • Nino

    4″ to 5″ is enough for 99% of people. I cannot fathom people using a > 5″ screen for calls. It’s way, way too bulky. I have a Nexus 4 and it’s 4.7″ screen is perfect in terms of size. iPhone 5 should have been larger (I have one for app development, but don’t actively use it) in terms of width. But the iPhone feels better in my pocket, as it’s very thin.

    • http://www.facebook.com/cngaunt Chris Gaunt

      @ first sentence: “Thats what she said”.

    • Kurt

      99% of people want a larger device. 4″ is old hat. Look I just made up that % just like you did!

      • Nino

        But at least my percentage makes more sense than yours. iPhone 5 is selling like hotcakes.

      • Kurt

        -1 in America maybe. Here they are giving them away and people are saying no. It got so bad they are calling people asking if they want early upgrades? I have a two year contract up in November and they offered me and my wife free iPhone 5. We have iPhone 4S now.

  • Chindavon

    The pic reminded me of Saved By the Bell, when Zack pulled out that big honkin’ cell phone out at school.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dante.arellano1 Dante Arellano

    Here the solution leave iphone in the same size just remove home button and give to us Half inche more in the same size of iphone 5 please be smart apple.

    • Kurt

      +1

  • http://www.facebook.com/tafk1 Taf Khan

    Phablets are good for browsing sure, but one looks stupid talking on one, take the Note 2 as an example, it’s so big it often hides the face of the person using it, that could be a good thing though right? :P

    • kevin butler

      I see lots of people using Note 2’s and I can CLEARLY see their faces. Your point?

      • http://www.facebook.com/tafk1 Taf Khan

        People who use Note 2 to make calls look stupid! People who use Note 2 to make calls but you can’t see the face due to the size of the device have an advantage, as in people can’t identify them…

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    they are great fro some folks..

  • http://twitter.com/harrybimasakti harry bimasakti

    Funny photo

  • iamnotfan

    Many hate it, but some love it.
    Lets not try to control the world.

  • http://twitter.com/randall_young_ randall young

    I have said all along. How big is too big. It’s getting ridiculous.

  • http://www.facebook.com/william.bevans.5 William Bevans

    What’s wrong with the dude’s forehead in the picture?!