With the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus met with record-breaking success, it’s time to delve into what we can expect with these new phones. One of the (literally!) biggest changes with Apple’s new phone is a departure from their standard 4 inch diagonal screen to a 4.7 inch iPhone 6 screen and a 5.5 inch iPhone 6 Plus screen – an increase of 17.5% and 37.5% respectively!

But why did Apple decide to radically change the screen size of their new iPhones? Android devices have traditionally dominated the “phablet” market, but it looks as though Apple is staking their claim in this territory. This begs the question—do large screen devices have an effect on user engagement? And how are these new, larger iPhones faring two weeks after launch?

To answer the question about large screen devices impacting user engagement, Localytics examined Android phones that have a screen size of at least 5 inches compared to other Android phones. We also looked at the current iPhone market share. We found:

  • Time in app (session length multiplied by app launches) is 34% greater on large screen devices overall
  • Music and gaming apps both show over double the time in app for large screen devices
  • New iPhones grabbed a 4% market share two weeks after release
  • iPhone 5s is the most popular iPhone (was iPhone 5 one month ago)

Large Screen Devices a Huge Boost for Music and Gaming Apps

Gaming apps demonstrate one of the largest increases in time in app based in device screen size. Most gaming apps require quick finger movements, which are easier to do on a large screen. For most of the other categories examined, such as photography, sports, news, and books, an inclination towards large screen devices for video streaming or reading is understandable. Music however, is much more surprising. This may be because more music apps are involving a social networking component for sharing playlists, commenting and liking. Incorporating social features in any kind of app are a fantastic way to keep users coming back to an app!

App launches and session length (two components that make up time in app) are great tools to measure engagement in your app. Understanding what kinds of user devices frequent your app can help you meaningfully optimize your app user experience. With Apple now officially entering the phablet market, make sure your app is optimized for larger screen devices!

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Make up a 3% and 1% Market Share Respectively


In only two weeks since launch, the new iPhones make up a 4% market share. Considering the new phones have not even launched in China yet, Apple’s record 10 million units sold in the first weekend is even more impressive.

As recently as a month ago, the iPhone 5 was the most popular iPhone. Just as we pointed out in a past blog, many of the people on the 2-year contract cycle upgraded from the iPhone 5 to the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. This upgrade cycle has made way for the iPhone 5s to now hold the title of most popular iPhone. Over the next few months, the iPhone 5 market share is likely to decline further to make room for the increasing iPhone 6 and 6 Plus phones.

With a rumored iPad announcement on October 21st, it will be interesting to see if and how Apple continues to iterate on the iPad Mini line. The iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5 inch screen, and the iPad Mini has a 7.9 inch display. Given the fact that there is only a 2.4 inch difference between the two devices, it will be interesting to see if consumers start viewing the iPhone 6 Plus as an alternative to the iPad Mini.


Localytics is the leading marketing and analytics platform for mobile and web apps across more than 1.5 billion devices and 28,000 apps. Localytics processes 50 billion data points monthly. For the large phone engagement study, Localytics examined a subset of Android phones that all had screen sizes of greater than 5 inches to identify trends in large screen user engagement. For Apple market share, Localytics examined iPhones since the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were first released on September 19th until October 1st. For each study, over 50 million Android and iPhones were examined.