It doesn't seem like too long ago when tiny phones were all the rage. They were all touted as lightweight and super thin - and the closer to the size of a Zippo, the better. Well, according to a new study by market researchers NPD Group, it looks at though Americans have switched their priorities. Big phones are in.
Screens, to be exact. That was the factor in NPD's latest mobile research. They found that while the market share for phones with 3.5 to 3.9 inch screens has remained steady, phones with 4 inch screens and beyond have snatched market share from smaller phones with a screen size of less that 3.5 inches. Practically, that means iPhone sales are constant and EVO and Droid sales are on the rise.
Here is the breakdown from NPD:
Smartphones with 4-inch-or-larger screens, like Samsung's Galaxy S, HTC's EVO 4G and Motorola's Droid X, which debuted in the second quarter (Q2) of 2010, quickly grew to encompass 24 percent of the market by Q4 2010. The market share for iPhones and other smartphones with screen sizes between 3.5 inches and 3.9 inches increased 2 percent over the prior year's Q4; while the market share of smartphones with screens smaller than 3.4 inches, declined from 63 percent in Q4 2009 to just 36 percent of the smartphone market in Q4 2010.
In ranking the top selling phones with 4 inch screens, the HTC EVO and Droid X took gold and silver, respectively. Three different Samsung models rounded out the top 5.
It's obvious that the functions of everyone's phone have expanded, and this has something to do with large screen popularity. People simply weren't watching YouTube videos on the Motorola SLVR. Plus, more people are accessing social media sites from their phones, and are apparently more satisfied when they do so. It does show that people care less about having a bulkier phone in their pocket. "Larger displays offer a richer media experience, as well as a roomier surface for on-screen keyboards. Handset vendors are continuing to push the envelope of pocket real estate to complement the video capabilities of 4G handsets," said executive director of analysis Ross Rubin.
NPD added an interesting tidbit to their report: While guys still buy more large screen smartphones, ladies, you are also increasingly more likely to but a large screen phone. Female share of the market rose from 30% to 40% during the last two quarters of 2010.