Emerging markets say 'bigger is better' when it comes to smartphones

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A new report from market research firm Jana has revealed that emerging markets prefer smartphones with a larger screen -- that is, "phablets".

Out of 1,386 smartphone users, over 50 percent of users expected their next phone to have a screen that's at least 5in or larger. The reason for the popularity of a large screen is that for many users in emerging markets the smartphone is their only portal to the Internet.

Jana also polled users on if they used their smartphone to consume video content and an overwhelming proportion said "Yes". Most notably 86 percent of Vietnamese smartphone owners use their smartphone to watch videos.

Apple appears to have missed a trick in the emerging markets as the majority of smartphone users have Android based phones. However a study conducted last year by Ovum revealed that Apple was the most desired brand in Brazil, China, India, Nigeria and Vietnam.

The emerging markets have also been noticed by other Internet services such as Facebook and Wikipedia. Facebook recently sent an engineering team to Africa to optimize their app for the emerging markets, and Wikipedia has also been developing "Wikipedia Zero" a lightweight wiki client that will be free to access in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.

This year it is expected that the emerging markets will see a surge in smartphone sales. Research firm Strategy Analytics anticipates the Chinese smartphone market to reach levels of $8.7 billion, cruising past the US's $6 billion.

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