40% of Chinese consumers turn to phablets as Apple said to prep jumbo iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited November 2014
Apple's rumored 5.5-inch iPhone could have a sizable market to attack in China, as smartphone buyers in the world's most populous nation are taking home so-called "phablets" in droves, new data revealed Monday shows.


"iPhone 6" mockup via Ciccarese Design.


Four out of every ten smartphones sold in China during the month of March came with a screen size larger than 5 inches diagonally, according to a new report from market research firm Kantar WorldPanel ComTech. The steady sales come as Chinese consumers lean on the devices more heavily for entertainment.

"It's clear that phablets really are changing the way Chinese consumers use smartphones," said Kantar strategic insight director Dominic Sunnebo. "More than one in five phablet owners now watch mobile TV on a daily basis, half do so at least once a month, and this is without widespread availability of 4G."

Apple is reportedly poised to cash in on this growing market, with the company rumored to bring two new, larger-screened iPhone models to market later this year. The so-called "iPhone 6" is thought to bear a 4.7-inch display, while a 5.5-inch "iPhone Air" would follow later and compete directly against larger flagship Android phones like Samsung's Galaxy line.


Source: Kantar Worldpanel ComTech


Sunnebo believes that the changing usage patterns also bode well for Chinese wireless carriers, who will see a surge in revenue as consumers opt for higher-capacity -- and more expensive -- data plans. For their part, iPhone users have long been known as voracious consumers of mobile data, sometimes straining Apple's relationship with its carrier partners due to the additional load placed on the networks' infrastructure.

"As 4G infrastructure expands in China, the demand for data is going to be unprecedented, paving the way for carriers to boost revenues significantly through larger data packages," Sunnebo added.

Overall, Kantar's latest research shows that Apple regained momentum in the first quarter of 2014, riding strong sales of the iPhone 5s. Apple saw market share gains in a number of key markets, including across Europe, in Australia, and especially in Japan, where it represented a whopping 81 percent of sales on carrier Softbank.


Source: Kantar Worldpanel ComTech


"Japan's love affair with Apple shows no sign of fading," Sunnebo said. "Even though the iPhone has now been available on Japan's largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo, for a number of months Apple still accounts for more than 40 percent of sales on the network.

"The success of the iPhone is also filtering through to the iPad, with almost a quarter of Japanese iPhone owners also owning an iPad. With smartphone penetration in Japan lagging well behind Europe and the US, Japan will remain a key growth market for Apple."

Kantar's research also found that Android remains the top mobile operating system across Europe, representing 70.7 percent of unit sales. Apple is a strong second with 19.2 percent, and Windows is third place with 8.1 percent of smartphones.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 71
    pembrokepembroke Posts: 228member
  • Reply 2 of 71
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Someone in another thread said the larger screen is better for their language's keyboard, it needs more room. But then surely the same would be true for Japan, and they have a bigger share of existing size iPhones than even the US.

    The report says they are using them for pocket TVs, but that's still only 20-something percent. Maybe it's just a phad?
  • Reply 3 of 71
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Phablets, huh?

    Is this a compensation thing?

    ????
  • Reply 4 of 71
    irelandireland Posts: 17,771member
    Grammar much?
  • Reply 5 of 71
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,352member

    Ugh..... horrible oversized phablets. Why would anyone want a huge 5.5 inch phone. Seriously, if all you want to do on your phone is take calls then buy an iPad mini and get a £10 dumb phone.

     

    People look so stupid holding these massive brick like devices against their head, I thought we'd got past huge phones in the late 1990's

  • Reply 6 of 71
    irelandireland Posts: 17,771member
    ascii wrote: »
    Someone in another thread said the larger screen is better for their language's keyboard, it needs more room. But then surely the same would be true for Japan, and they have a bigger share of existing size iPhones than even the US.

    Japan is probably the most design conscious nation I'm the world. I'd say that's the reason Apple sells well there. I don't think it's a screen size issue. I see Apple continuing to sell a 4" iPhone going forward. Them adding a 4.7" version is just a way of beefing up the iPhone family by offering real choice within a range of iPhones, just like there is real choice when choosing an iPad. I don't understand what the 5.5" iPhone is all about, but stranger things have happened. They do after all offer 3 notebook sizes and the 4s will be removed from the online stores this year. So, if they do kill the 4s this year and add a 4.7" iPhone 6 and a 5.5" iPhone Air, that would be three phone size options. I would not be surprised if they are taking a wait and see approach on the 5.5" model and perhaps will pull the plug on it at the last minute. But that wouldn't rule it our for in 2015.

    I think if they are going to launch it, though, it makes more sense to launch both new iPhone sizes this year and strike while the iron's hot.

    There really is a happy medium between the amount of money Apple makes and the market share they get. And with that I mind I think they need to more aggressively price new iPhones in Europe. They currently are just too expensive in my opinion.

    The 5c should be available only as an 8 GB model and should start at €399, the 5s at €499, the 6 at €599 and the iPhone Air at €699 (the current price of the 16 GB 5s). That'd be a much more attractive position for those phones IMO. I'd say they get a huge market share gain at those price points, they'd make a ton of money, they'd bolster the whole iOS ecosystem and get a nice amount of product halo as an added bonus.
  • Reply 7 of 71
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,683member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ascii View Post



    Someone in another thread said the larger screen is better for their language's keyboard, it needs more room. But then surely the same would be true for Japan, and they have a bigger share of existing size iPhones than even the US.



    The report says they are using them for pocket TVs, but that's still only 20-something percent. Maybe it's just a phad?

    I think - as has been pointed out by others many times - that in the the asian markets phablets are often the only computing device people own (or use?). As such an iPad is not portable enough and an iPhone too small. The sweet spot is probably a moving target but if this is what is happening it makes a lot of sense to me. 

  • Reply 8 of 71
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,683member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by saarek View Post

    People look so stupid holding these massive brick like devices against their head, I thought we'd got past huge phones in the late 1990's

    Well, that seems to be where you still live. I think we have gotten past worrying what people speak into. Oh, and I have been told that flip phones are making a comeback. If you spend a lot of time on the phone it makes sense, I guess. 

  • Reply 9 of 71
    nhtnht Posts: 4,522member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ascii View Post



    Someone in another thread said the larger screen is better for their language's keyboard, it needs more room. But then surely the same would be true for Japan, and they have a bigger share of existing size iPhones than even the US.



    The report says they are using them for pocket TVs, but that's still only 20-something percent. Maybe it's just a phad?

     

    No, internet tv is very big in china and for their overseas expats.  My wife spends the majority of her iPhone screen time watching chinese TV via internet.  That's with owning an iPad as well.  A larger screen would be good for that as well as the keyboard.

     

    iOS trumps screen size but that doesn't mean a larger screen wouldn't be a major improvement.  Especially given that she keeps her phone in her purse anyway.  A mini is still a bit large for her smallest purse but a phablet would fit fine.

  • Reply 10 of 71
    copelandcopeland Posts: 298member

    As long as they also make a fully spec'd (Apple style) iPhone (sans giant screen) I am fully for it.

  • Reply 11 of 71
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,352member

    Ugh,

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post

     

    Well, that seems to be where you still live. I think we have gotten past worrying what people speak into. Oh, and I have been told that flip phones are making a comeback. If you spend a lot of time on the phone it makes sense, I guess. 


     

    Tell me that it doesn't look stupid to you, perhaps it is just me?

     

  • Reply 12 of 71
    Think about it, how much do you use your phone making calls? On an average day I spend less than 3 minutes talking on my phone. I do spend 3 hours or more using the phone for other stuff like reading news, browsing websites, texting, checking social websites, listening to music, watching videos... etc. I spend much much more time looking at the screen rather than holding it to my ear. As such screen real estate is important to me. I guess the mentality of phablet buyers is "to get a device with the biggest screen while still being able to fit it in a pocket". I find screen size of 5-5.5" a good compromise.

    People should get around the fact that smartphones are no longer phones. They are computing device that happens to include a phone function.
  • Reply 14 of 71
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post





    Japan is probably the most design conscious nation I'm the world. I'd say that's the reason Apple sells well there. I don't think it's a screen size issue. 

    It could also be an income issue as paxman said. Japan and the US are rich countries, people have a phone, but they also have a tablet on the coffee table and a laptop on the desk. If they're going to spend 3 hours browsing the web they'll probably pick up the iPad.

     

    People from poorer countries are trying to use their phone for everything and complaining that the screen isn't big enough. For them the phone is more of a general purpose computing device than it is for rich people.

  • Reply 15 of 71
    saarek wrote: »
    Ugh..... horrible oversized phablets. Why would anyone want a huge 5.5 inch phone. Seriously, if all you want to do on your phone is take calls then buy an iPad mini and get a £10 dumb phone.

    People look so stupid holding these massive brick like devices against their head, I thought we'd got past huge phones in the late 1990's

    Maybe we should start calling them Taphones :D
  • Reply 16 of 71
    sog35 wrote: »
    so why dont you just get an ipad mini?

    makes no sense at all

    Because the option is there. And it's the norm now... Have you noticed that most plans give unlimited minutes now? I can be on a plan with 30 minutes a month and I'll have rollover minutes. We like to have the option and sometimes it's necessary (when mom calls) but other than that, why do you still use the phone?
  • Reply 17 of 71
    taniwhataniwha Posts: 347member

    The figures are also interesting in that they show Apple is losing market share in about as many countries, including the US, as it is managing to hold its share, and that growth is not significant in any of the listed countries. There are a few exceptions (AUS,JPN), but it sure looks like stagnation overall with Android coming in at around 2/3 and rising to Apple's 1/3 and falling, overall. 

     

    So either the numbers are junk, or there's a trend in the numbers.

  • Reply 18 of 71
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by justp1ayin View Post

    Because the option is there.

     

    He has already established “never”. He couldn’t care less about the option. He doesn’t use the option.

     

    And it's the norm now...


     

    No, it isn’t. All sales and use numbers show otherwise.

     

    …other than that, why do you still use the phone? 


     

    Gee, I don’t know, maybe because YOU’D HAVE TO CALL SOMEONE. ON THE PHONE. This is so fundamental a concept to comprehend that I’m having to define it using its own words since telephony has been such an integral part of human communication for so long. Because of this, I have absolutely no idea why your question even needed to be asked. 

  • Reply 19 of 71
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,450member
    saarek wrote: »
    Ugh..... horrible oversized phablets. Why would anyone want a huge 5.5 inch phone. Seriously, if all you want to do on your phone is take calls then buy an iPad mini and get a £10 dumb phone.

    People look so stupid holding these massive brick like devices against their head, I thought we'd got past huge phones in the late 1990's

    Hey, you insulting my Moto brick? ;)
  • Reply 20 of 71
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,558member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ecnerwal View Post



    Think about it, how much do you use your phone making calls? On an average day I spend less than 3 minutes talking on my phone. I do spend 3 hours or more using the phone for other stuff like reading news, browsing websites, texting, checking social websites, listening to music, watching videos... etc. I spend much much more time looking at the screen rather than holding it to my ear. As such screen real estate is important to me. I guess the mentality of phablet buyers is "to get a device with the biggest screen while still being able to fit it in a pocket". I find screen size of 5-5.5" a good compromise.



    People should get around the fact that smartphones are no longer phones. They are computing device that happens to include a phone function.

     

    Very true.

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