So-called "phablets" now account for more than a third of the smartphone market after sales of the inbetweeny form factor more than quadrupled in Q1.
According to Canalys, sales of smartphones with 5in and larger screens mushroomed 369 per cent year on year in the three months to 31 March.
The halfway house form factor represented just over 34 per cent of total Q1 global smartphone shipments that rose 29 per cent year on year to 279.4 million units, the analyst said.
This means the phablet market was worth about 95 million units in Q1, close to double the 50.8 million tablets shipped in the same quarter.
"Consumers now expect high-end devices to have large displays, and Apple's absence in this market will clearly not last long," said Canalys analyst Jessica Kwee.
Phablets as a proportion of overall smartphone shipments is even higher in Greater China and Asia-Pacific, standing at 39 and 43 per cent respectively, Canalys said.
That market is dominated by overall smartphone top dog Samsung, which held a 44 per cent share of devices with displays of 5in and above in Q1. Samsung's market share rises to 53 per cent if the view is narrowed to look only at 5.5"-plus displays.
"But many other vendors, such as Lenovo, Huawei, LG and Sony, have also achieved significant volumes in this space with products at the top end of their portfolios," Kwee said.
Looking at the overall smartphone market, although shipments grew 29 per cent annually, they were down five per cent on the seasonally strong Q4 2013. Android pocketed an 81 per cent market share, with iOS and Windows Phone commanding a 16 and three per cent share of the spoils respectively.
Although Korea's Samsung led the overall smartphone market with a 31 per cent slice of the pie, half of the top 10 vendors were Chinese: Huawei (third), Lenovo (fourth), Xiaomi (sixth), Yulong (eighth) and ZTE (ninth).
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