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Phablets, the next big thing for APAC mobile users?

Marketers across the region are riding on the mobile wave but a lot of them wonder ‘What’s next?’. Well…the next big thing is – phablets and mobile users in Asia-Pacific are more likely to agree than those in any other region of the world to think phablets are the next big thing, according to research by GfK. The firm estimated in Q4 2014 that nearly one in five smartphones sold in Asia-Pacific were phablets, defined as smartphones with a screen at least 5.5 inches across. The Middle East was the region where phablets were the next most popular, according to the estimates.

In Asia-Pacific specifically, phablets had more than doubled their share of smartphone units sold between Q4 2013 and Q4 2014—and that’s after they more than doubled in share the previous year. Similar rates of increase were mirrored around the world, as phablets rose from 2.6 per cent of all smartphones sold in the final quarter of 2012 to 6.6 per cent in Q4 2013 and 12.8 per cent in Q4 2014.

According to Flurry, phablets are the fastest-growing mobile category worldwide, based on mobile app sessions. Chitika also found an increase in phablets when examining mobile website traffic data.

eMarketer estimates that as of the end of 2014, there were 911.8 million smartphone users in Asia-Pacific, including users of phablets as well as smaller smartphones. That translated to 38.2 per cent of all mobile phone users in the region. By 2018, nearly 1.42 billion people in Asia-Pacific, or 50.4 per cent of the mobile phone population, will use a smartphone, according to the report.

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