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Big screen smartphones hit Tablet sales

Thursday, May 29 14:58:07

Bigger-than-expected sales of smartphones with larger screens are cutting into demand for tablets, said research firm IDC, which lowered its 2014 forecast for devices like Apple's iPad.

Tablet shipments will climb 12 percent this year to 245.4 million units worldwide, IDC said today, down from an earlier forecast of 260.9 million. The growth rate would be a decline from last year's 52 percent expansion.

Phones like Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy Note 3, which sports a 5.7-inch (14.5-centimeter) screen, provide more space for watching videos and reading books, helping them compete with smaller tablets like Apple's 7.9-inch iPad mini. Apple is working on new iPhone designs that have larger screens with curved glass, a person familiar with the plans said in November.

The larger smartphones, which IDC calls "phablets" since they combine features of phone and tablets, represented 10.5 percent of smartphone sales in the first quarter, up from 4.3 percent a year earlier, the Framingham, Massachusetts-based research firm said. (Bloomberg)