Sales of smartphones with 5-inch+ screens grew by a staggering 369% last quarter

smartphone sales

A newly published report from Canalys relays that the market for smartphones with screens 5 inches or above increased by a staggering 369% during the first quarter of 2014. Of the 279.4 million smartphones shipped during the quarter, 94.86 million units (about 34% of all shipments) were composed of larger screened smartphones.

'This is still a market segment led by Samsung, but the trend is unmistakably toward larger-screen handsets at the high end of the market. It held a 44% share of devices with displays of 5" and above, and 53% if the view is narrowed to look at 5.5"-plus displays,' said Canalys Analyst Jessica Kwee.

...

Consumers now expect high-end devices to have large displays, and Apple's absence in this market will clearly not last long. It is notable that 5" and above displays featured on almost half (47%) of smart phones with an unlocked retail price of US$500 or more. Of the remaining 53% of high-end smart phones, 87% were iPhones. Apple plainly needs a larger-screen smart phone to remain competitive, and it will look to address this in the coming months.'

While Apple initially remained beholden to the 3.5-inch display it introduced with the original iPhone, the company shook things up with the release of the larger screened iPhone 5. Looking ahead, there are a bevy of reports, leaks, and rumors suggesting that Apple's next-gen smartphone will feature an even larger screen. Specifically, 4.7 and 5.5-inch form factors are the two models most often mentioned.

While speculation surrounding Apple's future product plans is just that -- speculation -- Apple's recent California trial with Samsung unearthed internal Apple documents indicating that the company was and remains well aware of the booming popularity of larger screened smartphones.

This article was originally published on Tuaw.