Almost half of all smartphones sold are now phablets

Big smartphone sales - in all senses

Nexus 6

In the first quarter of 2015 we spent a whopping $96bn (around £61bn, AU$119bn) on smartphones, according to a new report by GfK, with an increase in our spending fueled by our desire to buy larger devices that have 5-inch screens or larger.

For phablet phones (those above 5-inch size) there were incredible sales of 166 million units, which equated to 47% of the entire global smartphone market – up from 32% a year ago.

In the US this growth was even more impressive with large screen devices accounting for 70% of all sales in the first quarter of 2015, up from 59% in the same period last year.

Many of these sales can be attributed to the recent spate of high quality large screen devices like the iPhone 6 Plus and Nexus 6, that have given people a reason to consider the phablet form factor more seriously - but even flagship phones like the HTC One M9 and Samsung Galaxy S6 are technically phablets, adding to the impressive stat.

4G Force

This quarter also saw the first time 4G-capable handsets surpassed 50% of all smartphone sales, so it's clear that many of us are keen to get faster mobile internet.

GfK has forecast 4G share to increase further in 2015, and by Q4 2015 it's expected that 4G handsets will account for 59% of all smartphones sold.

Overall smartphone sales are in rude health with an increase of 7% year on year to 310m units. However while smartphone sales in Western Europe have increased year-on-year by 12%, the sales value of handsets have actually declined for the first time, mainly due to Spain and France buying cheaper smartphones as a result of some more precarious economic situations.

Article continues below