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Sales of 5-inch phones were up a massive 369% in the first quarter of 2014, with users across the globe flocking to larger screened devices.

The numbers, revealed by data analysis firm Canayls, suggest companies who don’t have such large devices, specifically Apple, are at a major competitive disadvantage.

5-inch handsets, or phablets to give them their more widely known portmanteau, made up 34% of all smartphone sales between January and March this year. That works out at 95 million of 279.4 million devices sold.

Samsung is leading the charge in this space, with a 44% market share. However, Canalys says that Sony, LG, Huawei and Lenovo are all closing in on the Korean company.

The numbers will make grim reading in Cupertino, showing the task Apple has to make-up lost ground after insisting for years that consumers preferred its 4-inch iPhone design over larger models.

Apple is expected to reveal a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 later this year, as it looks to compete directly with its key rivals.



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