smartphone screens getting bigger
August 16, 2014

Demand For Larger Smartphone Screens Driven By Emerging Countries

Eric Hopton for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

When it comes to smartphone screens it seems that size really matters, and users around the world are now demanding bigger screens.

It’s easy to forget just how far the technology has come since the launch of the very first iPhones back in 2007.

Research company Jana has published the results of a new survey which examined user preferences in two main areas; screen size and watching videos. The report reminds us that the average smartphone screen in 2007 was a mere 2.59 inches in size. That figure, according to Jana, now stands at 4.86 inches which represents an increase of 88% over those seven years.

Over half of the respondents to Jana’s survey “expect their next smartphone to have a screen size of 5 inches or larger.” This demand was reflected in 8 of the 9 countries where the survey of 1,386 users was carried out; Brazil, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, and Vietnam. The exception was Nigeria where the convenience and portability of smaller screens was the driving factor.

The researchers analyzed responses to four questions:

Question 1: What size screen do you expect your next smartphone to have?

Question 2: Why do you want your next smartphone to have a screen of this size?

Question 3: Do you use an app to watch video content on your smartphone?

Question 4: What would make you watch more video content on your smartphone?

The constant search for bigger displays is partly due to enhanced technology and the way mobile devices are beginning to dominate the market. Another key factor is the type of content being used by smartphone owners, especially in emerging countries. It is here, Jana discovered, that the introduction of low-cost smartphones means that these devices are “the first experience of Internet connectivity for many.” In many instances the phones are, by necessity, the main access point for gaming, reading and watching video content in addition to the standard mobile phone uses. This clearly increases the desirability of those bigger displays for watching graphic content.

Jana predicts that global data traffic will grow by a factor of ten over the next five years with half of that traffic “expected to come from video apps by 2019.” Although a large proportion of devices in the countries surveyed are lower cost Android smartphones, they are still perfectly capable of dealing with mobile video content. This is one of the main reasons for their popularity.

This trend towards the expectation of larger screen size is something of a problem for Apple as they have nothing for now to compete with the 5.5 inches available on some Android phones, though rumors abound that Apple is about to introduce a few larger screen options. It was clear from the survey, however, that not everyone wants to carry around bulky large display phones and that the market will remain strong for the smaller sizes.

Other drawbacks cited for watching video on smartphones are the cost of data and problems with speed and buffering but these should be somewhat resolved in the future as prices are driven down and speeds increase. This research will help drive that process as the big players compete for a share of the huge developing countries market.

Infographic Below is Courtesy of Jana Mobile Inc.

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