Big-screen smartphones known as phablets (short for phone-tablets) are expected to outsell regular-sized smartphones by 2019, research firm IDC said Wednesday.
[ibd-display-video id=2972060 width=50 float=left autostart=true]Shipments of phablets will "far outpace" the total smartphone market over the next five years, IDC said in a news release . Phablets have screen sizes of 5.5 inches to 7 inches.
Phablet shipments are seen climbing from 611 million units in 2017 to 1 billion units in 2021, representing a compound annual growth rate of 18.1%. During the same period, normal smartphones, those with displays under 5.5 inches, will decline 7.4%, IDC said.
IDC forecasts the total smartphone market will grow at a compound annual rate of 3% over the five-year period.
Popular phablets today include Samsung's Galaxy Note 8, which has 6.3-inch display, and Apple 's ( AAPL ) iPhone X, which has a 5.8-inch display.
Apple reportedly is planning an all-phablet lineup for fall 2018. It is working on new iPhone models with display sizes of 5.8, 6.1 and 6.5 inches, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Phablets are expected to account for 41% of Apple's smartphone shipments in 2017 and 50% or more in 2018, IDC said. In addition to the iPhone X, Apple's phablets include the 5.5-inch iPhone Plus handsets.
Phablets using the Android operating system from Alphabet ( GOOGL )-owned Google have been the primary driver of large-screen smartphones, and IDC expects that trend to continue.
"In 2012, phablets were just 1% of smartphone shipments and now they are approaching 50% of the market just a few years later," IDC analyst Ryan Reith said in a statement. "Consumers continue to consume more video entertainment, gaming, social media, and other data-heavy applications on their smartphones, making the display size and type a critical factor in smartphone buying decisions."
IDC predicts that phablets will make up 41% of smartphone shipments this year, 49.4% in 2018 and 52.3% in 2019.