On September 9, Apple is expected to release it's first large screen smartphone, and it's about time.
According to data published by market research firm IDC last week, much of the future growth in the smartphone market will occur in the phablet segment.
IDC predicts overall shipments to reach 1,237m units this year, of which 173m will fit the phablet category (screen sizes 5.5" and higher). By 2018, the smartphone market is tipped to grow to 1,804m units per year, of which 581m are expected to be phablets. In other words: while the phablet segment is expected to grow at an average rate of 35% until 2018, the rest of the smartphone market will grow at a meager 4% per year.
This chart shows a smartphone shipment forecast for 2014 and 2018, broken down by screen size.
You will find more statistics at Statista