The rise of so-called "phablet devices" that sit somewhere between the form factor of a smartphone and a tablet are propelling the overall mobile and app industry to 78 percent year-over-year usage growth as measured by number of sessions, according to Flurry. The mobile analytics unit of Yahoo said it looked at usage data from January 2014 to January of this year for its research.
- Phablets, such as the iPhone 6 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note, take the lead in usage growth, growing 148 percent year-over-year.
- The growth in phablets is 3.8 times faster than the growth of medium-sized phones such as the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 over a similar period.
- In this same period, small tablet use grew only 14 percent and full-size tablet usage shrank by 20 percent.
Some app and mobile gaming categories seemed to be tailor-made for phablets. In fact, sports grew 427 percent more on phablets than any other device type.
- Since the ascension of phablets, the total time spent in apps compared to mobile web picked up an additional 2 percent, increasing total time spent in apps to 88 percent of total time spent on mobile in the U.S., versus 12 percent on the mobile web.
"The introduction of a form factor changes the media and computing landscape. We saw the laptop change the personal computing landscape. We saw the tablet change the smartphone and mobile media consumption landscape," the report said. "This time, it's happening again with the phablet. It is not just the third-stage media booster rocket, it is the ultimate mobile form factor."
Though they might seem worlds apart, you can't look at this data about phablets from Flurry without thinking about another, even bigger disruption to the mobile form factor. In other words, given the impact of phablets on app usage, particular app categories and so on, how will smart watches like the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Gear, not to mention smart eyewear such as Google Glass, influence app usage if they prove a hit with consumers? Although many users seem tied to a regular-sized smartphone or tablet, Flurry has proven there's a considerable market for everything in between.
check out the full report here
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