Though it seems smartphone sizes may have topped out in the 6-inch range, it appears that consumers are still eager for large smartphone screen sizes.
Market research firm Juniper Research today released a new report predicting that over 120 million large-screen smartphones will ship by the year 2018. The firm estimates that just 20 million such devices shipped during 2013.
The large-smartphone market is currently led by Android smartphone manufacturers and particularly Samsung, which has found success with its large-screen Galaxy Note line of devices. Other Android manufacturers such as Sony and HTC have found limited success with large-screen smartphones with high-end hardware at premium prices. Juniper's report predicts that the market for large-screen smartphones will widen in price point in the coming years, with well-known brands continuing to push premium handsets while smaller brands find growth for lower-priced large smartphones.
Though the market for large-screen smartphones is currently focused in established western markets, emerging markets could become crucial to the segment in the coming years. Juniper sees East Asian countries such as Korea and China as potential large-screen smartphone growth markets.
Juniper did make the disclaimer that its predictions for the large-screen smartphone OS landscape could be significantly off if Apple actually does release a large-screen iPhone in the near future. Rumors that Apple's upcoming iPhone will have a much larger display began shortly after the release of the iPhone 5S and have continued to stay relevant.