Phablets are still big with consumers, according to new data from analytics firm Flurry.
Some 27 percent of new devices activated in the week leading up to Christmas were phablets, which Flurry defines as extra-large smartphones such as the iPhone 6S Plus and devices in Samsung’s Galaxy line. That’s a significant expansion from two years ago, when phablets represented a mere 4 percent of device activations during the period.
“In the early days it appeared that phablets were stealing share from tablets, with tablet share decreasing from 17% in 2013 to 11% 2014,” Flurry wrote in a note accompanying the data. “For the first time in 2015 though, it appears consumers are opting for phablets—not instead of a tablet—but instead of a smaller-sized phone.” With the share of new “small phones” (i.e., screen-size of 3.5 inches or less) hovering at 3 percent, Flurry expects the form-factor will disappear from its charts by this time next year.
“On Christmas Day in 2015, Flurry tracked 2.2x as many app installs as on an average day in December,” the note continued. “For app developers who scrambled to ship apps before the holidays and spent heavily on app marketing, it appears that the efforts have paid off!”
What lessons can developers draw from Flurry’s data? First, if you’re building apps for smartphones, make sure to optimize for larger screens, given the phablet trend. Second, the holidays are a prime time for app launches, especially if you’re building something consumer-centric such as a game; budget (and market) accordingly.