San Francisco: Phablets (smartphones with screen size of 5.5-7 inches) will far outpace total market growth by climbing from 611 million units in 2017 to one billion units in 2021, representing a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.1 percent.
In comparison, the total smartphone market is expected to grow at three percent CAGR during the same period, while normal smartphones (under 5.5 inches) will decline 7.4 percent, the International Data Corporation (IDC) said on Thursday.
The smartphone shipments will grow from 1.5 billion units in 2017 to 1.7 billion units in 2021 globally.
In 2012, phablets were just one percent of smartphone shipments and now they are approaching 50 percent of the market.
“The rapid transition to bezel-less smartphones will help minimise the device footprint while growing the screen size from previous generations,” said Ryan Reith, Programme Vice President with IDC’s “Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers”.
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Samsung`s early dominance of the phablet category has been short-lived as other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) – many of which are Chinese OEMs – quickly pushed the category into the mainstream and even low end.
As a result, China consumed 50 percent of the 437.4 million phablets shipped in 2016.
“There is no doubt that 2017 gave birth to the new ultra high-end segment of the smartphone market,” said Anthony Scarsella, IDC Research Manager.