Phablets not only take up more space in your pocket, but also tend to eat up more data. A new study shows that mobile users are consuming more data through smartphones with screens sizes measuring 4.5 inches and higher.
The latest Connected Intelligence report from the NPD Group shows that data consumption on smartphones with 4.5 inches and larger is 44 percent greater than it is on smartphones with screens under 4.5 inches. Specifically, there’s about a 2GB difference when it comes to data usage between the two sizes when you count both Wi-Fi and cellular data (5GB versus 7.2 GB).
The NPD Group says that larger-screened smartphones are becoming increasingly popular as more vendors release devices with big displays.
“Even though today larger screens represent a smaller part of the market, their relevance is increasing as consumers look for more ways to interact with content while on the go,” said John Buffone, director of devices for Connected Intelligence.
Large-screened handsets now represent 28 percent of retail models as of Q3 2013, while these bigger handsets only accounted for 11 percent of consumer available phones at the end of Q3 2012.
As a result, data usage has increased by 19 percent in the same time period. According to the report, most of this data consumption on larger phones is coming from usage of social media, navigation and video, with the most popular apps being Facebook, Google Maps, YouTube and Pandora Radio.
Part of this trend can be attributed to the fact that most vendors are releasing flagship phones with screen sizes larger than 4.5 inches, leaving little options for those seeking a smaller device. This year’s flagship lineup includes the 4.99-inch Samsung Galaxy S4, 4.7-inch HTC One, 5.2-inch LG G 2 and the 4.5-inch Nokia Lumia 1020. In addition to its 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3, Samsung’s massive Galaxy Note Mega measures a staggering 6.3 inches.
Apple’s iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c remain the only flagship models with screen sizes less than 4.5 inches. Both devices sport 4-inch Retina display touchscreens.
Phablets began to snag the spotlight when Samsung introduced its original Galaxy Note back in 2010. The category seems to have gained significant traction in the market since then, with the IDC reporting that 21 percent of all smartphones shipped in Q3 2013 were phablets.