Demand for bigger smartphone screens is growing

Friday, May 16th, 2014. Filed under: Apps Beauty & Style Entertainment Science & Technology
Samsung is the world leader when it comes to smartphones with big screens. ©AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE

Samsung is the world leader when it comes to smartphones with big screens.
©AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE

(Relaxnews) – Over one third of new handsets shipped over the last three months featured a display of 5 inches or more — that’s a 369 percent jump in terms of demand based on the same period in 2013.

As well as absolute numbers — an incredible 279.4 million handsets shipped over the first quarter of 2014 — the latest report form research and analyst firm Canalys also breaks down the shipments by screen size. And if, as the company claims, the demand for bigger screens is rocketing, Apple will soon be at a serious disadvantage compared to many of its premium Android rivals.

Although the majority of handsets (66%) that left manufacturers had a screen size below 5 inches, 22 percent had a 5- to 5.4-inch display and 10 percent a 5.5- to 5.9-inch display, and the final 2 percent was made up by handsets that are closer to tablets than phones, with screens measuring 6 inches or more from corner to corner.

Nevertheless, combined, these big phones represent over one-third of total shipments and 43 percent of shipments to the Asia Pacific region.

“Consumers now expect high-end devices to have large displays, and Apple’s absence in this market will clearly not last long,” said Canalys Analyst Jessica Kwee.

She points out that currently the world leader in this segment is Samsung. Its phones made up 44 percent of all devices with a 5-inch or greater screen shipped over the period and 53 percent of all phones with a display of 5.5 inches or more.

“But many other vendors, such as Lenovo, Huawei, LG and Sony, have also achieved significant volumes in this space with products at the top end of their portfolios,” Kwee says.

She also notes that nearly half (47%) of premium phones — i.e., those with a price tag of $500 or more when sold without a contract — had a display measuring 5 inches or more.

“Of the remaining 53% of high-end smart phones, 87% were iPhones. Apple plainly needs a larger-screen smart phone to remain competitive, and it will look to address this in the coming months,” says Kwee.

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