Large-Screen Phones 20%; Tablets 12%

Big mobile screens are in, but not as big as those on tablets.

We’ve seen a string of recent research showing smartphones catching up and even passing tablets for various aspects of shopping.

Now comes a piece of research that may help explain the mobile commerce transition from tablet to smartphones.

Phones with larger screens, commonly referred to as phablets, have grown from 6% of devices a year ago to 20% now, according to the latest monthly device tracking by Flurry Analytics.

The Yahoo company examined 2 billion devices, focusing on the top 875 devices, which accounted for 87% of session in March.

Phablets are categorized as phones with screens between 5 and 6.9 inches, like the Galaxy Note or the IPhone 6 Plus.

In some markets, the larger screens are a very large draw. For example, In Taiwan and Hong Kong, the larger screens account for 50% of active users.

It’s mostly Android phones where larger screens are on a tear, with more than a third (36%) of those phones falling into the phablet category in the month of March. With only one phablet, the iPhone 6 Plus, iOS was at 4%.

The adoption of larger-screen phones has happened relatively quickly, with only 10% of Android phones being phablets in 2013, to about triple that number today.

And just as mobile has drained activity from desktops, larger screens are impacting tablet behavior.

In other tablet numbers just out, worldwide tablet shipments recorded a decline for the second consecutive quarter, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) worldwide tablet tracker.

This transition from tablet to smartphone can help explain the recent increase in smartphone shopping and transaction activity.

Active users by form factor have large-screen phones at 20% and full-sized tablets at 12%.

It looks like many consumers like a bigger screen on their mobile device. Just not too big.

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