Without A Larger IPhone, Apple Could Lose Browser Share

Browsing on smartphone screens smaller than 4 inches has declined 11% year over year.

Without A Larger IPhone, Apple Could Lose Browser Share
[Photo: Flickr user Kārlis Dambrāns]

Ahead of Apple’s big product reveal Tuesday, Adobe on Monday published a report that suggests the Cupertino, California-based company would be wise to introduce an iPhone with a larger display. Overall, browsing on smartphone screens measuring 4 inches or less has declined 11% year over year, while larger screens continue to drive traffic, according to the Adobe Digital Index.

Graphic: courtesy of Adobe

Contrary to analyst predictions, tablet use has flattened as people choose to browse on larger-screened phones, the report says. While some manufacturers, such as Samsung, have moved toward the trend of phablets, Apple has long held out on supersizing its phone, finally upgrading from its 3.5-inch display to 4 inches with the iPhone 5 (the iPhone 5S and 5C also have 5-inch displays). Murmurings suggest the higher-end model of the upcoming iPhone will sport a 5.5-inch screen (with some cases already available for preorder).

That said, Apple still leads in mobile traffic, with the iPhone accounting for 54% of smartphone traffic and the iPad 80% of tablet traffic. Safari, which drives close to 60% of mobile traffic, saw a 2.6% decline in browser share from April, while Chrome gained 5.7%. Overall, about a third of all social-referred visits to retailers originated from a tablet or smartphone. For Pinterest, 64% of its referred traffic comes from mobile browsers, and 62% of Twitter’s referrals come from smartphones and tablets.

Graphic: courtesy of Adobe

We’ll be reporting live from the Apple event in Cupertino on September 9. Follow our liveblog here.

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

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