Pocket change: smartphone screen sizes on the rise

The latest data shows that phablet shipments are expected increase by 136 percent in 2013 as more phonemakers inch up the size of their handset displays, meaning that fashion designers are going to have to reconsider the dimensions of the pockets on their next lines of clothing.

Le Samsung Galaxy Note 2 sera disponible en blanc marbre ou gris titane.

The growing popularity of phablets has been a major talking point within the high-tech community over the past 12 months and a huge range of oversized smartphones were out on display at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), suggesting that their entrance into the mainstream is simply a matter of time. However, just because something is described as being ‘big' at CES, doesn't necessarily mean that the device in question will become popular in the real world where what seems like an incredible idea in theory just simply doesn't fit into the everyday reality, wants or needs of modern life.

However, it would appear that phablets -- that is smartphones with a 5-inch or larger display -- are destined to become one of the must-have tech items of 2013. The latest IHS iSuppli Mobile Handset Displays market tracker report shows that shipments of oversized phones are expected to increase by 136 percents this year and could lead to sales worldwide of 60.4 million. The company even goes as far as to predict shipments of 146 million units a year by 2016.

IHS explains this growing trend is being driven in part by the increased richness and diversity of smartphone content available as well as by phonemakers attempting to go one better than their competitors. "The move to offer larger-display smartphones reflects the efforts of both device and panel makers to differentiate their products," said Vinita Jakhanwal, director of small and medium displays at IHS iSuppli. "With consumers demanding more lifelike viewing experiences, the trend to offer such devices makes perfect sense, especially considering the increase in rich content that is being made available on smartphones."

The Sony Xperia Z

Samsung's 5.5-inch display Galaxy Note II is currently the king of the phablets, having sold over 10 million units since its launch at the end of September. Its success is clearly a factor in the growth of the market as Samsung's direct competitors attempt to keep up. Sony debuted its Xperia Z, an elegant handset with a 5-inch full HD display, while ZTE launched the Grand S, which boasted the same screen size and resolution. Lenovo went one better with the 5.5-inch full HD display K900, while Huawei Technologies attempted to trump everyone with the Ascend Mate, which, at 6.1-inches, is currently the world's largest smartphone.

However, shipments don't always translate into sales and while IHS's data is focused on supply chain through to the retailer, another report published this week by 451 Research's ChangeWave service shows that consumers are increasingly being drawn to smartphones with larger screens. Its survey, focused on US consumers reveals that 21 percent of the 4061 respondents committed to buying a smartphone over the next three months intend to buy a Samsung handset, and of that group 21 percent said that they intended to buy the Galaxy Note II. When asked about screen size as a deciding factor in the purchasing decision, while 59 percent of respondents said that they would be happy with a 4.0-4.9-inch display, 27 percent said that they wanted a phone with a 5-inch or larger screen.

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Writer: AFP Relax News
Position: News agency