The traditional personal computer continues to shrink — to about the size of a smartphone. While super-small mobile phones were trendy a couple of years ago, new research shows that consumers want specific functionality on their phones. This functionality requires real estate and smartphone manufacturers are likely planning to release new hardware to keep consumers happy.
According to NPD research, several smartphone models with 4- inch screens were launched last year. These models included:
- 1 HTC EVO 4G
- 2 Motorola Droid X
- 3 Samsung Fascinate
- 4 Samsung Captivate
- 5 Samsung Vibrant
Consumers immediately made these models popular and purchased so many that the larger screen smartphones accounted for 24% of sales during the last quarter of 2010. Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD, says “the explosion in Web and video content available for smartphones has caused consumers to rethink their phones' sizes."
Historically, the smartphone market has been the domain of male shoppers. But women are closing the gap. NPD data shows that women comprised 30% of large-screen smartphones in Q2 of 2010. By yearend, women drove 40% of sales for these devices.
As smartphone marketers battle for market share, it will be fascinating to watch Apple. Though rumors are circulating that the next iPhone model will have a 4‑inch screen, there is no official news from Apple. But as consumers continue to carry around these devices and expect the same functionality and response they get from a laptop or notepad, marketers will continue to develop and promote new models. And promotional spending in the wireless industry shows no signs of slowing down as consumers are clearly interested in buying devices with the latest features.[Source: The NPD Group: Larger Smartphone Screens Gain in Popularity. NPD.com. 21 Mar. 2011. Web. 6 Apr. 2011]