The Bigger Screen
A major trend in the smartphone space for the past few years has been “the bigger, the better”. It began as a market strategy for Android vendors to differentiate their devices from the Apple iPhones then.
In 2010, Google released its first flagship smartphone, the Nexus One, which was manufactured by HTC. The Nexus One has a 3.7-inch display, which is just a tad bigger than the 3.5-inch Apple iPhone. Samsung’s first GALAXY S smartphone came with a larger 4-inch display.
As consumer preferences and behaviour changed from using the phones for communications to consuming multimedia content, phone vendors had to address the demand for bigger and better displays.
Currently, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra has the biggest display on a smartphone at 6.44 inches, which is followed closely behind the 6.3-inch Samsung GALAXY Mega with LTE and 6.1-inch Huawei Ascend Mate. Several Android flagship phones that are released earlier this year come with 5-inch displays. Apple also increased the display size to 4 inches on the iPhone 5.
However, the trend started to reverse recently when phone makers such as HTC and Samsung unveiled mini variants of their flagship devices. A major factor is due to the smartphone growth slowing down in developed markets while emerging markets are tipped as the future growth catalysts.
Price factor plays an important role; large and high resolution display panels can increase the price of smartphones, and this does not bode well with the budgetconscious consumers in these markets.
With display sizes on smartphones inching closer to the extreme, it is expected that display-size growth will eventually level off.