If the trend in growing screen sizes continues, phones could soon be bigger than tablets and tablets could be bigger than TVs.
Over the course of the past two years smartphone screens have been growing in size. So much so that a new term, 'phablet,' has been created to describe these objects that just about fit in one palm but require the use of the other hand to make a call or access its features. But this screen growth is not confined to smartphones (although they are leading the charge), as the latest research shows that display screens on all devices are getting bigger every year and the trend is set to continue.
An employee shows an Apple iPhone 4s (L) and a Samsung Galaxy S3 (R) at a mobile phone shop in Seoul on August 27, 2012. Screen sizes have been growing and the trend is set to continue. ©AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE
The study, by NPD, published Tuesday shows that the average size of mobile phone screens has shot up from 2.4 inches to 3 inches since 2010 (a projected 38 percent increase if the trend continues in 2013), and OLED TVS, portable media players and even public displays have all jumped in screen size by more than 10 percent over the same period. Even the average desktop monitor has gained nearly an inch since 2010. In fact, the only category of device where things seem to be running in reverse is mobile PCs --ie, notebooks and laptops, which will have shrunk by 10 percent to a projected average screen size of 12.2 inches by 2013.
This falling screen size could be due to manufacturers focusing more on ultrabooks but it is also likely to have been influenced by the growing competition from tablets. Notebook manufacturers are reducing their costs to compensate for lower sales and cutting the screen size is a good way of saving money.
And this trend looks set to continue. Therefore it won't be long before smartphones are as big as today's tablets, tablets are bigger than the average notebook and desktop monitors are the size of a widescreen TV.