Following the recent releases of large screened super phones from the likes of HTC and Samsung there has been a lot of discussion over whether the mainstream phone market is ready devices of this size.
So are we ready for larger screens?
Well with the pre-orders for the Galaxy S3 setting new benchmarks, and the unexpected success of the Galaxy Note, it would appear so. It would be fair to say that there has always been a school of thought that supports “bigger is better” but I think there is more to it than that.
If we look at some of the more general functions that consumers use their phones for, then I think a bigger screen makes a lot more sense for even the most basic smartphone user.
Texts are one of the most important and heavily used features on any phone, but on a larger screen, texts can only be better. Larger text and larger keyboards go along way to improve the texting experience. This appeals to both young and old users, larger keyboards for quicker texting, and larger fonts for those ageing eyes.
Obviously not as generally used as much as texting, but again, a larger screen leads to a much more fluid Facebook experience. Again the larger text makes reading your feeds easier, but also when it comes to viewing those funny photos we all love to share, the bigger the screen the more we can enjoy.
Same rules apply here to, whether you have found an unusual picture or video online you want to show your friends, or if you have shot your own pictures or videos, sharing them on a large bright screen provides much more impact. As camera quality has increased so has the need to show your favourite moments on a larger higher resolution screen.
Taking these points into account goes someway to explain why more users are adopting the bigger devices out there, we demand much more from our devices, and using one device for most things makes much more sense and is far more convenient than using two or more devices for different things. That said, it is obvious also that the two device solution is gaining more ground, whether those devices are a phone and a tablet, or a phone and a laptop, given the choice most users will go to their phone for a quick update on what’s going on in their world.
When Apple launched the iPhone, the thought of such large screens was a new and unusual one, but slowly and surely average screen sizes have been creeping up. Only 12 months ago the “sweet spot” screen size was accepted at 4-4.3″ and 12 months before that probably 3.5-3.7″.
When Dell launched the 5″ screen Streak, the device was widely panned, and enjoyed modest sales at best, but the Samsung Galaxy Note at 5.3″ has had much more success then was anticipated at its launch and has combined the phone and tablet idea into a useable single device. The time difference between the launch of the Streak and the launch of the Note reinforce that fact that larger screens are much more acceptable at this point in time.
Large screen are here to stay, for a while at least, and convergence devices that do a lot of different things really well will continue to expand their share of the market, further reducing the appeal of lower spec devices.