It's been one of the tech buzzwords of 2013, and now fresh research has revealed that sales of "phablets" - oversized smartphone handsets that are a cross between a phone and tablet - have surged this year.
A quarter of a billion smartphones were shipped in the third quarter of 2013, with 22 percent of these featuring a screen size of 5 inches of more, according to a report by Canalys research firm published late Tuesday.
Some 56 million of the larger-screen devices were shipped over the three months, compared to 45 million in the previous quarter - a 24 percent rise.
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Breaking this down further, 66 percent of these phablets had a 5 inch display, 31 percent had screens of between 5 and 6 inches, whilst just 3 percent had 6 inch or larger screens.
"This trend continues to be driven mainly by Samsung, which dominates the large-screen segment," Canalys said in a press release. The Korean company has continued to update its popular Galaxy Note and Mega ranges, but rivals Sony, Huawei and HTC have all "gone big" in 2013, bringing larger-screen models to the market.
Jingwen Wang, a research analyst from Canalys said the 6 inch-plus segment would be boosted next quarter by Nokia's arrival in the market, but warned it would not develop quickly unless Samsung invested in marketing strategies to promote its Galaxy Mega range.
"Over the next year, Asia Pacific is expected to continue to lead the demand for large-screen smartphones due to the nature of emerging markets there. Low PC and home broadband penetration, a high level of mobile network use, and low Wi-Fi network penetration in these countries limit the presence and functionality of Wi-Fi tablets," she said in the press release.