Once considered bulky and awkward, phablets are more popular than ever. The large, often 1080p displays are ideal for streaming media and playing games, and consumers are largely getting on board with the trend. According to a new report from research firm IDC, phablets represented 21 percent of all smartphone sales during the third quarter of this year. That’s a huge change from the 3 percent of all smartphone shipments that phablets accounted for during the same period a year ago. The popularity of these big-boned phones ultimately may have hurt Apple’s chance at market share gains.
“We believe the absence of a large-screen device may have contributed to Apple’s inability to grow share in the third quarter,” IDC program director Ryan Reith said. Android was the dominant operating system during Q3, with an 81-percent share, up 51.3 percent year-over-year. iOS had a 12.9 percent share, up 25.6 percent year-on year, and Windows Phone had a 3.6-percent share, up 156 percent year-on year. BlackBerry’s market share fell 41.6 percent to 1.7 percent. IDC attributed Nokia’s Windows Phone devices to the operating system’s increased share, and said that Nokia devices made up 93.2 percent of all Windows Phones shipped.
In total, IDC found that 211.6 million smartphones were shipped during the quarter.