Apple’s iPhone 6 looms as world moves to large-screen smartphones

“Consumers are increasingly moving towards larger smartphones, according to a new global survey from Netbiscuits, which should be welcomed news for Apple and its upcoming iPhone,” Gary Krakow writes for TheStreet.

“According to the Q2 Global Web Trends report, U.K.-based Netbiscuits found the average physical size of mobile phone screens in use has been increasing worldwide. All segments over 4 inches increased share compared to last quarter,” Krakow writes. “The survey shows the fastest growth came in the 6-inch and larger category which, it concludes, is a good indicator of how the industry is likely to evolve over the next 12 months.”

“The 242-country survey found that while South Koreans are most likely to be using the largest screens – and Kenya and South Africa the smallest – the greatest shifts towards phablets (5 to 5.9 inches) came from the United States, Canada and Australia,” Krakow writes. “The results of the global popularity of specific phone models also turned out to be great news for Apple. In the second quarter, the iPhone 5 models (5, 5s, 5c) topped the usage chart with a 17% worldwide share replacing its own second-place iPhone 4 devices (4, 4s) 14%. The next five leaders were Samsung Galaxy phones: Galaxy S III (4%), Galaxy S4 (4%), Galaxy S III Mini (3%), Galaxy S II (3%) and Galaxy S4 Mini (3%). Rounding out the top ten models were Apple’s iPhone 3GS (2%), the HTC One (1%) and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 LTE (1%).”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Of the top ten most popular smartphones in a 242-country survey, Apple iPhones took 33% while Samsung, with bigger screens, a huge marketing spend, and umpteen BOGOF and similar promos, could only manage 18%.


    1. Besides, current Apple’s category is still more than twice bigger than bigger-phone categories, combined.

      4″ iPhone, which also is going to be updated this year, no doubt will be #1 selling device in any case.

      1. Nope. Apple’s phablet will be. Lots of Android users will migrate to the Apple phablet. And lots of Apple users will switch from the 4′ to the 4.7′ device.

        My guess: most existing Apple customers will simply go from 4′ to 4.7′ because it will still allow the one-handed operation that is a big deal for Apple fans.

        And Samsung will lose a huge number of Galaxy customers to the Apple 5.5′ devices, as the screen size was the main reason why people bought high-end Samsung devices instead of similarly-priced Apple devices to begin with.

        Result: Samsung will get hammered. But smaller companies like HTC, LG and Xiaomi, whose phones are better than Samsung’s, won’t be adversely impacted nearly as much.

        My dream: for Apple’s bigger phones to deal a crushing blow to Samsung, causing them to exit the smartphone arena and be replaced by companies that actually make good Android devices, and do so without copying. Most people don’t even know that 64 bit Android devices are already on the market because Samsung doesn’t make them and Samsung sucks all the air (and water and earth and fire) out of the Android space. If Apple’s phablets disrupt that and allow the smaller players who make better products to increase their market share and publicity as a result, it would be a great thing for Android.

        1. Lets see on what model will be #1 selling, but:

          most existing Apple customers will simply go from 4′ to 4.7′ because it will still allow the one-handed operation that is a big deal for Apple fans

          4.7″ is already not one-hand device, so whoever focuses on ergonomics will stay with updated 4″ model. All the others who might consider bigger screen more important than ergonomics and portability will switch to 4.7″ or even 5.5″ devices.

  1. I might get used to a 4.7″ phone. But, I like the fact that I can put my current phone into the inside chest pocket of my suit jacket and not have it look like I’m carrying around a brick. If I can still do that with a 4.7″ phone, and the battery life is at least as long as my current phone, then I’m in.

    At this time I have zero — absolutely zero — interest in a 5.5″ phone. Yet, I can see a possible, realistic sized market for a 5.5″ phone.

    I truly believe those people walking around with 6″ “phones” are deluding themselves. They have something that is neither convenient nor portable enough to carry with them everywhere as you’d like to do with a real phone nor do they have enough screen real estate to get much real work done. (And Microsoft’s/Nokia’s rumored 7″ “phone is even more delusional than a 6” “phone”.)

    Maybe I just have a huge blind spot here, but I really don’t see much more than a niche market for the 6″ and 7″ phablets.

    1. You are going to be surprised. Apple’s design will allow a 4.7′ screen on a device that is only going to be JUST A TINY LITTLE AND BARELY NOTICEABLY BIT larger than an iPhone 4, and actually thinner than an iPhone 5.

      Battery life? Please. The improved internals – and the new OS – will allow the 4.7′ iPhone to equal or exceed the battery life of existing iPhones. It won’t be as good as the battery life of the 4′ iPhone 6, but if your comparison point is the iPhone 4 or 5, it will be the same or better.

      As for battery life on the 5.5′ iPhone? Simple. Do what the Android manufacturers do and give it a bigger battery. But really, the “battery life” stuff is silly anyway. I bet the battery life for the 5.5′ iPhone will be better than the battery life for the 2nd or 3rd generation iPhone (let alone the smartphones, feature phones and even dumb phones that preceded the iPhone). So if that battery life was good enough for those clearly inferior devices back then (and it wasn’t THAT long ago … we are talking a device introduced in 2009 and was still being produced in 2012) then it is good enough for a far better device (size, hardware, OS) now.

    2. My little dinky LG GT550 “feature” phone went through the washing machine two weeks ago. I used it for phone calls and text messages, nothing else. (Wouldn’t do anything else, even though is had a “browser” on it.)

      I have been waiting for the iPhone 6 to come out, so I didn’t want to rush out and buy a 5s until the price drops and I can look at the specs.

      Long story short, I bought a new $80 ATT Radiant “smart” phone at Best Buy to tide me over, expecting to give it to the non technical boss at home when I get an iPhone. The Radiant is bigger than the LG (4″ vs 3.5?). It has Jelly Bean 4.1.2 in it. They transferred my 84 contacts over.

      First impression is that the Radiant @ 4″ is too big. It crowded my pocket like a brick. Then the fun began.

      I was working in the warehouse and I hear “hello, hello, it that you????” They call it butt dialing. After two of those, I learned that you have to willfully push the button to shut it off. The screen going blank and requiring you to swipe to get in again doesn’t count. Multiple swipes and button pushes are required, OR it will assume you might want to push a button or swipe and it will gratuitously jump to whatever it wants to.

      I wanted to try the features. I relocated some of the App icons to the home screen. I pushed the battery button and the Wi Fi screen popped up. New blank home screens began appearing – no instructions on how to delete them. After an hour on the chat line with some furrenior, who had no clue, I figure it out.

      After several more failed attempts to get apps, contacts, phone logs on the same screen, eliminate spurious screens, getting the thing to actually connect by Wi Fi to my Mac to transfer pictures (never happened), I found that my phone had completely rebooted itself into original mode, eliminating all my settings, contacts, pics, etc.

      About 20 minutes later I had my money back from Best Buy. The old LG dried out enough to use (no Android). Everything works better.

      Back to waiting on the iPhone update.

  2. “MacDailyNews Take: Of the top ten most popular smartphones in a 242-country survey, Apple iPhones took 33% while Samsung, with bigger screens, a huge marketing spend, and umpteen BOGOF and similar promos, could only manage 18%.”

    My take: pretty soon Samsung won’t be the biggest worry. Samsung actually doesn’t make very good or interesting products. Android supporters see Samsung as a mixed bag. They don’t really like Samsung products and despite Samsung’s infringement and other tactics, yet are forced to root for Samsung for the sake of the viability of the OS. Meanwhile, companies that make better Android products get crushed by Samsung’s marketing prowess and tactics.

    But that is starting to change.

    Note their closing lines: “When this happens, all bets are off as to which company will wind up the winner. It is, however, a very safe bet that the consumer will come out on top.”

    The decline of Samsung will not mean the decline of Android. Android is viable mainly because of the cost of Apple devices, and after that the simple fact that for whatever reasons not everyone likes or wants an Apple product (including the desire that some folks have to be different and go against the grain for its own sake). But the deal is that the company (or companies) that take Samsung’s market share are better at software, hardware and overall product design than Samsung is. For instance, Android L supports a 64 bit CPU. Several Asian manufacturers, including LG and Asus, are already selling Android devices with 64 bit hardware (including a device from LG that has an Intel i5 processor and 4 MB of RAM!). Meanwhile, Samsung states that they won’t begin selling 64 bit devices before 2016.

    So, Samsung has been dominating the Android space with mostly mediocre products. Their only real contribution has been inventing the phablet (the only one of their many differentiating form factors that actually succeeded) and creating Knox (which Google has already made irrelevant with Android L). So what will happen when companies that make better products gain market viability and visibility?

    This is particularly the case when it appears that Android is becoming less of an OS and more of a platform. Most of the better, more innovative stuff with Android does not come from Google (or Samsung obviously). If the companies that are creating interesting (and good) products with Android can gain market traction, we will start to see the true potential of the new generation OS. And instead of putting their money into R&D to compete with the companies coming out with good, interesting products, Samsung wastes their time trying to emulate Apple’s ecosystem. But no one buys their smart TVs. No one uses their version of AirPlay screen mirroring (which only works with Samsung hardware). No one buys from their app store (which only contains the same apps that are in the Google Play store plus a few “Samsung exclusive” apps that are … meh). No one bought their bloated, expensive media player that was some attempt to compete with Apple TV (which again only works with a Samsung phone and Samsung TV). Ugh.

    Samsung’s marginalization would honestly have absolutely no affect on Apple, but it would be very good for Android buyers.

  3. Why make a big phone. That’s like a tiny mansion, a fat woman, a thin passenger jet, or a patriotic American Democrat. No body really wants them but they are tolerated. Keeping the phone small while increasing the screen size is logical but making an iPad mini out of the phone is samdungs forte.

  4. I still do not believe that the screen size is a decisive factor when choosing Apple over Android.

    Yes, Apple users want a larger phone. I get it. But a decisive factor? I don’t think that would account for more than 2% of sales.

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