“Apple's absence in this market will clearly not last long."

A third of all smartphones sold in Q1 were phablets

Smartphones with screens over 5-inches are on the rise, according to the latest research from Canalys.

A third of the 279.4 million smartphones shipped in the first quarter of 2014 were ‘phablets’.

In Europe alone, 27 per cent of all shipments were phablet-sized.

Jessica Kwee, an analyst at Canalys, said: "The trend is unmistakably towards larger-screen handsets at the high end of the market. Consumers now expect high-end devices to have large displays, and Apple’s absence in this market will clearly not last long."

Apple is expected to launch a 5.5-inch smartphone this year, along with a 4.7-inch iPhone 6.

Phablets are not the only products on the rise. Curry’s/PC World have revealed that a wide range of electrical goods have seen a sales increase in the lead up to summer.

Fans are up 59 per cent week-on-week, ice cream makers have seen a 25 per cent increase and air-conditioning products are up 175 per cent.

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