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Consumer preference for bigger smartphones on the up

Galaxy Mega 5.8in

By Shona Ghosh

Posted on 10 May 2013 at 11:57

Smartphone owners not only like big screens on their devices – they actually want bigger displays when they upgrade, according to new research from Strategy Analytics.

The average consumer preference for screen size is now 4.5in, up from a preferred size of 4.3in at the end of 2011. And "nearly all" with a smartphone wanted their next phone to have a bigger screen.

But that average preference isn’t quite keeping up with the latest devices, with Samsung especially pioneering phones with huge screens. Its upcoming Mega series will encompass two new smartphones offering 5.8in (pictured) and 6.3in screens, something reviewers have dismissed as too big. That compares with a 4in screen on the iPhone 5 and a 5in display on the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Nokia, which has so far shunned larger screens, is also reportedly planning to bring out a 6in ‘phablet' in a bid to keep up.

"The intention of many manufacturers to drive screen size up has been very clear over recent months," said Strategy Analytics analyst Paul Brown. "There is the potential for 'phablets' at the lower end of the size scale to become more mainstream, especially as manufacturers work to maximize the ratio of screen to overall size, providing a larger screen on a smaller form factor."

Clearly, however, there won’t be an infinite trajectory of larger screens, with Strategy Analytics noting that manufacturers would increasingly need to consider how smartphone owners are actually using their devices.

"Larger devices are harder to interact with one-handed, and so it is important for user-interfaces, and especially on-screen key placements, to be designed to allow for easy interaction," said user experience analyst Kevin Nolan.

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User comments

Richard

Error: "The most preferred screen size in 2012 was 2012, ..."

By Richard_D on 10 May 2013

Personally I think tablet and ereader manufacturers should be worried about this. People are obviously buying them to 'consume content' in the argot of industry analysts. It's rather like when you walk into Curries and it's filled with huge laptops with numeric keypads that cannot possibly be portable. People are trying to save money by buying compromised devices in my opinion.

By c6ten on 12 May 2013

Doubtful data

I seriously doubt these findings. They sound very much like a survey of people with feature phones with 2" screens being asked what they wanted in new phone, and not surprisingly wanting a bigger one. Same as for the preferred size - show a few people three screen sizes and ask them their favourite and of course they'll go for the bigger one; ask them which one they'd prefer to hold up to their ear to nake a phone call on, or carry in their trouser pocket and they'd give a different answer. Unless you can see the original questions, who the sample audience was made up from, and the response data to those questions, sweeping statements such as your headline writer creatively includes are unreliable.

How many women do you see in the street chatting into huge phones held up to their ears? I've never seen one!

By SwissMac on 15 May 2013

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