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Online video is driving the trend towards larger-screened smartphones, survey says

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Even inexpensive Android phones now often sport screens larger than 5-inches, and [company]Apple[/company] is expected to release a larger-screened iPhone next month. Clearly, bigger screen sizes for smartphones are in vogue right now, but what’s driving this trend? According to a new survey conducted by Jana Research, the demand for big phones is driven by smartphone consumers who want a device that’s better for video consumption.

The survey polled 1,396 smartphone users in nine developing countries, including geographical giants such as India, Brazil, and Indonesia. Although many respondents preferred 4-inch phones for their portability, there’s significant demand for 5-inch and larger devices, largely because of entertainment apps. One question focused on whether users used apps to watch video content, and in all nine countries, a firm majority responded yes.

Online video on phones

While these results shouldn’t surprise anyone paying attention to handset trends in emerging markets, they underscore that for many people, a smartphone is their first and only internet-connected computer. Not only will these devices be used for business and daily life, they’re also used as entertainment centers and, for some, as a television replacement.

The widespread use of smartphones for online video in the developing world will not only shape mobile devices but also the cellular plans they run on, because video ends up eating a ton of data. As [company]Google[/company] and [company]Microsoft[/company] set their eyes on the “next billion” smartphone owners by dropping licensing fees for manufacturers and starting programs like Android One, they should mind the fact that some customers aren’t looking for a smartphone so much as a portable window to their favorite video content.

4 Responses to “Online video is driving the trend towards larger-screened smartphones, survey says”

  1. I am not so sure that the stats would be any different in developed markets. Video on any computing device is a large chunk of the user’s time.
    Also a study like this should at least include small 3G enabled tablets since those are gaining traction in some markets. Even i am considering a pocketable 3G/4G tablet and a dumbphone for voice, it kinda makes sense and it’s way cheaper than a high end 5.5 inch phone and a tablet.
    The study should have also looked at what phones the responders are using and genre. My bat is that most that were for 4 inch are Apple users and they only like 4 inch because they are Apple fans but they’ll want 4.7 inch in a couple of months. The genre differences should be substantial too, hand size matters when choosing a phone.
    It’s funny thought , how the biggest problems are also the costlier. Data prices and even availability are mobile’s biggest problem while the screen is 25 to 40% of a phone’s BOM and it practically defines the price.

  2. Rann Xeroxx

    I am just doing more with my phone such as video conf. via Lync and watching screen presentations and for that you need a large phone. Also using TeamViewer to resolve issues on remote systems, etc.

  3. And the size has nothing to do with wanting to be able to read (news stories, email, maps, e.g.) without using a magnifying glass. Not everyone is near-sighted.