Today's smartphone market is comprised of devices with screen sizes ranging from 4 inches to a over 6 inches. This tech trend has sprouted the nickname "phablets", referring to phones with screen sizes approaching tablet-sized displays. Currently OEM's like Samsung have devices like the Galaxy Note 3 with a 5.7 inch screen and HTC with the HTC One coming in at 4.8 inches. Long gone are the days where 3.5 inch displays were considered huge as was the case with the launch of Apple's iPhone in 2007. Fast forward 7 years later and we now have the iPhone at a 4 inch display just to stay competitive. The question remains, how big is too big?
While large displays provide great media consumption experiences, it seems odd to me that consumers are okay with these gargantuan devices. Here's an example: I am a former iPhone & iOS user who switched to Android last year with the Samsung Galaxy S3. Having come from the iPhone 4 released in 2008, the Galaxy S3 was gigantic in my hand. The device comes in 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm or 5.38 x 2.78 x 0.34 in. In comparison, the iPhone 4 comes in at 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm or 4.54 x 2.31 x 0.37 in. The shift in size was attractive at first especially when watching video. However, the screen real estate seems to be only advantageous when consuming media; the giant screen has benefited me little elsewhere. Despite running a great version of Android, this device feels like a giant brick in my pocket. Versus the compact and portable design by the iPhone 4 that made carrying the device around less cumbersome.
Rumors have suggested that Apple plans on upgrading it's next iPhone's display to an even larger 4.7-4.8 inches. Taking this into consideration, I have to ask if that will attract or deter consumers from purchasing the device. Sure, Apple will probably break records, sell more devices than ever before and receive critical acclaim, but will they lose the ease of use on their devices that Apple has so long been famous for?
What do you think of devices increasing their display sizes year by year? Do you think this is a good thing or will phones become so giant that we will inevitably have to refer to these devices as tablet phones? Let us know in the comments below.