Report: Phablets will represent one-quarter of all smartphone traffic in 2015

Q3 report on smartphone Web traffic from Netbiscuits shows phablets are a rising star in the growing mobile device category

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Use of phablet devices has doubled in the last six months globally and now represents 14 per cent of total smartphone Web traffic, according to a new report.

The new Netbiscuits Web Trends Report for Q3 found phablets, which are mobile devices with screens of between 5 inches and 7 inches, grew from 7 per cent of traffic at the end of April to 14 per cent at the end of October.

Adoption was driven by emerging Asian countries, where mobile devices are being used as the primary device to access the Web. More than one-fifth of traffic is coming from these large smartphones, with the largest user bases in South Korea (49 per cent), China (25 per cent) and India (23 per cent).

However, growth rates over the past six months were highest in Western Europe, NetBiscuits said, with the UK leading the pack.

Based on these results, the report’s authors claimed phablets will represent nearly one-quarter of total smartphone Web traffic by April next year. Apple’s iPhone 6 was a growing device in the space and reached 2 per cent of all iPhone traffic by the end of October.

“As more people use a phablet to double up as their smartphone and mobile Web device, context will be more important than ever in order to determine whether a tablet or a phone experience is required,” the report’s authors stated.

“The emergence of this segment will blur tablet and smartphone categories. For marketers, it will therefore have an impact on expected bounce rates, conversions and engagement. Location and bandwidth considerations will become extremely important.”

According to Netbiscuits, the average number of unique mobile devices hitting websites in October reached nearly 5000, up from 4000 in May. Next year, the group predicts around two-thirds more unique mobile hardware devices will be accessing an average website per day compared to 2014.

Across the board, the most used smartphone was the Apple iPhone 5S with 13 per cent marketshare, down from 15 per cent in September following the launch of the iPhone 6.

In total, Android represented 60 per cent of total mobile Web traffic in Q3, up from 57 per cent in Q2, 2014. Windows great to just under 5 per cent in the same timeframe. The report also said iOS 8 adoption has already flattened, despite reaching 51 per cent of total iOS traffic in October.

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