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iPhone 6 Plus: The King of phablets

Most consumers who buy one of Apple's latest smartphones end up with the smaller model. In fact, iPhone 6 is outselling (opens in new tab) its bigger brother, iPhone 6 Plus, by a ratio of three to one in US, and an even higher ratio of four to one in Britain. However, Apple shouldn't be worried that its first phablet is nowhere near as popular as the "standard" iPhone 6.

That is because iPhone 6 Plus is actually a hugely popular device in its category, accounting for 41 per cent of phablet sales in US in the three months ending October 2014, despite being on sale only from mid-September onwards. What does that mean in the grand scheme of things?

Well, first of all, we are not talking about a significant number of units there. Phablet sales are only 10 per cent of total smartphone sales, in US. However, this market is expected to grow considerably (opens in new tab) over the next couple of years, and having a strong foothold will pay off over time, even if right now it seems not to amount to high volumes.

In 2014, phablets are expected to account for just 14 per cent of all smartphone sales worldwide, but that figure will more than double by 2018, when phablets are estimated to account for 32.2 per cent of all smartphone sales worldwide. Even if Apple's share in this market segment does not grow, it will still benefit as volumes increase.

According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech (opens in new tab), display size is the reason why 58 percent of the iPhone 6 buyers it surveyed have chosen this device.

However, phablets have not yet reached the point when most consumers are fine with their increased dimensions, as 60 percent of the iPhone 6 buyers surveyed by the research firm also cited size as the main reason why they have chosen the smaller new iPhone.

Second purchase driver is 4G LTE connectivity, in both cases, however this has to be looked at at from the perspective of buying an iPhone, after consumers have already decided to buy into Apple's ecosystem.

Just like a large display, 4G LTE connectivity is clearly not the second main reason why consumers buy iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, as they have first decided on the brand, before anything. Of all iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus buyers, 85 per cent were repeat customers, with 9 percent being former Android users.

In the three months ending October 2014, in US, iPhone 6 has 33 per cent market share among iPhones, followed by iPhone 5s with 26 per cent, and iPhone 5c by 18 per cent. In comparison, iPhone 6 Plus fares poorly, with just 10 per cent of all iPhone sales.