2015: Year of phablets, mobile apps and emojis, says Flurry

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'Phablets' like the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 witnessed massive growth in 2015
‘Phablets’ like the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, above, witnessed massive growth in 2015

After tracking 3.2 trillion sessions over the course of 2015, Yahoo-owned analytics company Flurry has revealed overall mobile app usage rose by 58% during the year with personalisation apps witnessing the biggest growth of 344%. Meanwhile phablets – large screen mobile phones with all the functionality of tablets – are set to become the dominant smart device in 2016, reckons Flurry.

According to Flurry, the majority of mobile phone growth is from Emoji apps (mainly keyboards) giving consumers the ability to share customised correspondence via Whatsapp, Snapchat and others. See graphic below. Kim Kardashian’s ‘Kimoji’ app skyrocketed to the no.1 spot in the app store on its launch.

 

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Mobile phone use grew 58% in 2015 but the biggest growth areas were in the personalisation (emojis) and news/magazines sectors

Furthermore, the report predicts that the time spent on phablets will continue to grow. Having increased by 334% year on year, (2.9 times more than the average), compared to 117% for all form factors, it will become the leading form factor by October 2016, and will replace small phones by 2017.

Over one quarter (27%) of all new devices activated for Christmas this year were phablets and 50% of all Android devices activated in the same timeframe were phablets. The growth of news and magazine apps on phablets was almost five times that of all devices, much higher than the rate of the average smart device.

Meanwhile productivity app sessions grew by 119% with teens and college students in particular using their smartphone and tablets to access apps such as Google Docs, Quip, Slack and the Microsoft productivity suite. News and Magazine apps grew too, up 141% in 2015. This growth signals a shift in media consumption from television and PCs to smartphones in general, and phablets in particular,

While the overall growth rate of smart devices has declined (58% in 2015 compared to 76% in 2014 and 103% in 2013), it remains stunning as rates like these are rare in mature industries, reckons Flurry. What was even more impressive is the majority of that growth rate came from existing users versus new users.

In fact, in 2015, Flurry estimates that 40% of the 58% total growth in sessions came from existing users, compared to 20% in 2014 and 10% in 2013.

Time spent on phablets grew 334% year-over-year with time spent on mobile surpassing that spent watching television.

You can read the full report here

 

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Phablets are expected to overtake smaller sized phones in popularity by the end of 2016, reckons Flurry.

 

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Chris Price

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