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February 17, 2014

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Mao Nixon

Tomi,

I agree with you. Screen size is everything. A couple years back.... When replacing my aging N8, After trying Samsung Galaxy Nexus at phone store, I decide NOT to buy the iphone that my sister has been praising all months. More and more relative (and friend too) who try Android and iphone, mostly choose Android phone just because iphone screen were too damned small.

http://www.phonearena.com/news/New-Google-Nexus-P3-concept-includes-a-QWERTY-keyboard-gamepad-and-extended-battery_id52684

I don't really understand why LeeBase and Baron keep insisting that iphone has it all.

Andy Bovingdon

Kinda... I personally tend to agree, but purpose has to play a part. For example, if Screen Size Trumps Everything, then a 28 inch, super big, super hi-rez tablet should win the mass market. But obviously it won't because it doesn't fit in most people's pockets.

Same applied when my wife wanted a new phone to replace her Sony Xperia S. She wanted the high quality, hi-rez flagship that would get updates and last a while, but it also had to fit her bag and her dainty hands. So the Samsung Galaxy Utra-Mega-Whopper was out, as were most of the Android phones, which were either too big, or not a flagship and therefore not guaranteed to get any updates. In the end she opted for an iPhone 5s - because it was compact...

Bill

The only research I could find is this. The source is Kantar, so not sure how we all feel about their accuracy, but nonetheless:
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jan/24/phablets-to-make-big-splash-in-asia-but-research-finds-appeal-in-europe-limited

They reckon smartphones will tend to a limit, which is a reasonable assertion, as otherwise they will become tablets.

Just chasing screen size seems limiting, as long as screens are confined to the phone (otherwise they won't fit into a pocket or small bag). I think we're waiting for a form of Augmented Reality that an everyday consumer can use and, more importantly, actually wants to use.

Vesku

For me, pocketability and durability trumps screen size. I just couldn't live with a phablet. I'd like my iPhone more if it was even thinner and had a smaller bezel. I learnt to carry the phone in the front jeans pocket with Nokia's Zippo models and have stuck with that habit ever since. The next increment in screen size will probably be something wearable for me, but the phone is just a hub connecting devices together.

Dan

Screen size is related to where do you put the device when you are out. For women that mostly have a large bag, screen size is not an issue unless they want to go in a club with a small bag or without a bag. For men, the screen size is related to their pockets size. The Nokia Communicator was fitting in my jacket pockets, but never in my jeans pockets (and was so heavy that I had several pockets broken due to the weight, nowadays this is not a problem anymore)

Screen size trumps everything unless is too big to be carried as your usual phone. That's the reason I don't consider at all 5 inch or bigger screen phone.

Zangolie

We are in a time when modern mobile phone hardware is a commodity. When something becomes a commodity, what is left is Brand.

Branding Trumps everything. It's what Apple and Samsung get so right. It's what HTC is struggling with and BlackBerry is so clueless about, that they destroyed it.

E.Casais

Screen size trumps everything only in so far as services and content are developed in such a way that they only work well on large displays. This is actually the case for the majority of them: e-books, movies, games, web sites.

Apple has resisted well the trend towards huge displays because its business model is built upon apps which are optimized for the kind of screen size of the iPhone, while relocating the aforementioned screen-heavy services onto tablets with a larger display, i.e. the iPad.

Handsets with 6" screens are not a "natural" evolution towards something greater and better, but the symptom of a failure to design services for mobile devices.

My guess is that a similar situation will take hold with smart watches: Apple will provide small, wristwatch-sized devices with optimized functions, while (possibly with exceptions) the Android crowd will clamor for devices with the span of a vambrace, because that is the only way to have a display large enough to operate standard Internet services.

foo

> Now how come the market for tablets of 7 inche size is growing faster than the market for tablets of 10 inche size?
> I think that is because they are somewhat differing user cases. So we have actually two tablet market opportunities.

The 10" tablets offer the best experience -- but are more expensive. The 7" tablets offer price advantage.

These are the two major competitive advantage points.

And Android wins because it spans from the cheapest to the most sophisticated.

Satya Nutela

Apple know that if they release the iphonepad (iphone + ipad), the sales sum of iphone + ipad will be lower than the iphonepad tablet, because the customer don't need to have big screen ipad mini anymore, and just use the iphonepad as 2-in-1 device.

RottenApple

@Leebase:

"Price is Androids one and only killer feature. "

That's so wrong it's just laughable.

Android's biggest advantage over Apple is not price but independence from an egotistic dictator who can control everything you want to do with your device and if he allows something it's his way only.

Believe it or not, there's many people out there who would never buy an Apple product, regardless of price and services. Count me in on that group.

JMM

"We know now that the 4 inch size is no longer a flagship"

mmm, I´m not sure, besides the iPhone that still is a true flagship now companies like Sony (Z1 Compact) and LG (TBA next week) are moving flagships below 4.5".

I suspect that the bigger screen trend on Android started as a need to put bigger batteries on the phones since Android power management was horrible, things have changed and now power management has improved a lot with Android latest versions, as an example several reviews have stated that the Z1 Compact battery life is better than the original Z1 (that is not bad at all).

I think that bigger screens trend will continue, but also we´ll see other companies like HTC/Samsung move flagships to reduced sizes for those who prefer smaller handsets but with real power. (s4 mini and HTC One mini aren't flagships, I agree). Motorola is already doing it with the X.

May be the rumors are right, next iphone could split in two different models (above and below 4.5"), it will be very rarely for Apple but I think it´s the trend.

Wayne Borean


I agree, with the caveat that there has to be an upper end size limit. What that limit is I don't know.

I do know that using an 10 inch iPad as a phone would be clumsy beyond belief.

I also agree with Bill. Screen size will cease to matter if the companies develop augmented reality vision systems, at which point we'll once again see a race to the smallest body size.

Wayne

Janne

@LeeBase

I don't think it's about who has the largest screen size or who provides the device but that the size itself is the deciding factor. I like my iPhone because I like to use my mobile device with one hand. My GF has Samsung SIII because she likes to make a lot of notes.

It boils down to a personal choice, which can't be imposed on somebody else. There doesn't exist any golden standard, and the form factor continuum has multiple sweet spots.

Carlton Hobbs

You might say screen size trumps everything...up to the size of a person's comfort in pockets. So I do not see petite, fit young women with stylishly tight-fit jeans carrying a phablet. The few who do also carry a purse to hold it.

chithanh

@LeeBase
You can replace any Google Service. Just ask Amazon.

@Carlton Hobbs:
For the slim fit jeans, LG and Samsung sell the curved and flexible phones.

Huber

@Leebase:

>> We're speaking of market moving advantages. The "Google is open" facade has been lifted a long time ago. It's not open. Ask Skyhook. You can't replace any Google service.

Sorry, but this is utter bullshit:

>>>ANDROID OEMs>> I, AS A CUSTOMER <<< can do whatever I want.

I have a Galaxy S4 without any Samsung software on it. I do use the Google services, but am not forced to:

I can decide about avery single feature on my smartphone, I can install/ deinstall any app, may it be a system app or not. I have full access to the Linux file system including the system-partition. I can use any app as default app. I am not forced to use the Play Store, I can install whatever I want from any source I want.

This is what people mean when they say that Android is open. It is not about the OEMs which depend on the Google services, it is about the end users! Of course you are free to buy a device with a locked bootloader, too, but this is your decision as an end user.

Here is the ROM I use. It is completely open source, you can do with it whatever you want, there are no restriczions whatsoever: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2397511

RottenApple

@Leebase:

"We're speaking of market moving advantages. The "Google is open" facade has been lifted a long time ago."


Blah, blah!

What I don't like about Apple is that they are the sole entity to decide what software an iPhone user can use, their devices require special 'Apple approved' (and overpriced) peripherals, can only used with Apple software on the PC and so on and so on. In other words: Apple dictates every single way how the device can be used. Ok, that may be ok for most simpleminded folks - but not for me.

I don't use iTunes, I don't want to use iTunes or any comparable software, I just want to link my phone with my main computer and use it just like another device in a network. Sorry, not possible with Apple, no problem with Android.

Or: I just want to use that crappy piece of unapproved software on my phone, despite all the warnings (hey, I'm an expert - I know what I'm doing!) Bad luck if you use Apple. On my Android phones there's nobody to block me, once I enable sideloading apps.

Believe it or not: That's stuff that is important for some users.

And please stop spreading that nonsensical FUD that has absolutely no meaning for the device's end users.
Windows is also not an 'open' OS in the manufacturer's sense but it certainly makes zero restrictions about how I, as an end user, can use it or what software to install or what services to use. Not such a case with iOS.

Matches

Android has such a range of devices out the that I feel the are two potential advantages over the iPhone. The low and mid tier has price point, the upper tier has screen size. The fact that Apple is the most attractive ecosystem and performs so well despite only offering the relatively small screen sizes that it does, means this hypothesis is dead in the water.

The test of it may come when Apple does put out the larger phone. Tomi's examples above don't that user experience or ecosystem into account. Sure, between a better camera or a bigger screen, it looks like the bigger screen carries the day. But bigger screen does not trump "It's an iphone." Many do choose the bigger screen, as I have. But to say it trumps what the iPhone offers is clearly not true. Apple hasn't had a competitive product she. It comes to screen size in years, but is doing just fine. Now, we will probably see soon that all things being truly equal, the bigger screen iPhone WILL indeed trump the smaller screen iphone. But screen size doesn't trump user experience, or ecosystem.

Satya Nutela

@Zangolie

"We are in a time when modern mobile phone hardware is a commodity. When something becomes a commodity, what is left is Brand.

Branding Trumps everything. It's what Apple and Samsung get so right."

Apple got it right with the trending (thus branding), but apple keep abusing/milking it without nourishing it. This is the very reason apple hit the saturation point of their brand/trend.

@E.Casais

"Handsets with 6" screens are not a "natural" evolution towards something greater and better, but the symptom of a failure to design services for mobile devices."

If you went to Asia, such as korea, hongkong, Singapore, Taiwan, China, Macao. EVERYWHERE you look, a teenage girl using a 5"+ screen. 5"-6" phone.

Girl usually have more SMALL hand than man, and Asian hand is also smaller than Caucasian. But they use BIG phone.

@RottenApple

"Android's biggest advantage over Apple is not price but independence from an egotistic dictator who can control everything you want to do with your device and if he allows something it's his way only."

Thumbs up!!!

@JMM

"mmm, I´m not sure, besides the iPhone that still is a true flagship now companies like Sony (Z1 Compact) and LG (TBA next week) are moving flagships below 4.5"."

That's because they want to lure the apple market. Lots of japanese still under the spell that think apple 4" one hand operation is a must, thus Sony try to lure this market with 4" flagship.

"I think that bigger screens trend will continue, but also we´ll see other companies like HTC/Samsung move flagships to reduced sizes for those who prefer smaller handsets but with real power. (s4 mini and HTC One mini aren't flagships, I agree). Motorola is already doing it with the X."

HTC is uncompetitive because their phone is smaller compared to competitor. Moto X is also not selling well.

@Carlton Hobbs

"You might say screen size trumps everything...up to the size of a person's comfort in pockets. So I do not see petite, fit young women with stylishly tight-fit jeans carrying a phablet. The few who do also carry a purse to hold it."

Irronically, MOST of PETITE asian girl prefer phablet. If you went to Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Singapore.... you'll see phablet dominate everywhere!!! In the subway, train, bus, restaurant... everywhere...

@LeeBase

"Finally you end with "you're an iSheep""

You really ARE an iSHEEP!!!!

@Huber

AGREE

@RottenApple

"I don't use iTunes, I don't want to use iTunes or any comparable software, I just want to link my phone with my main computer and use it just like another device in a network. Sorry, not possible with Apple, no problem with Android.

Or: I just want to use that crappy piece of unapproved software on my phone, despite all the warnings (hey, I'm an expert - I know what I'm doing!) Bad luck if you use Apple. On my Android phones there's nobody to block me, once I enable sideloading apps.

Believe it or not: That's stuff that is important for some users."

AGREE!!
For some user, freedom is more than fancy coating.
For teenager (student), college student, those who live in bleeding edge (android), and not in wall garden is the one that were creative and don't want any boundaries. iphone user is just a status symbol for this market that were not creative and affraid of bleeding edge.

@Matches

"The fact that Apple is the most attractive ecosystem and performs so well despite only offering the relatively small screen sizes that it does, means this hypothesis is dead in the water."

This is bullshit. Apple ecosystem and android ecosystem is on the same level. Same apps, same game, etc. I even think that ANDROID ecosystem is BETTER. android ecosystem has MORE user, more REACH. and at the end of 2014, android might have around 1.8 Million user based, compared to 300 million of iphone user based.

@LeeBase

"Google is not open source in any real sense of the word. It does not have a community of developers. You CANNOT fork Android without losing ALL of Google's services. You can't just swap out the maps (reference Skyhook). You CANNOT have one product line that is Google Android and another product line that is a forked version."

You're point??? You can't also REPLACE iphone maps, You can't replace iphone web browser. What you're asking is "Hey Google, Thanks for your good work, now, STRIP!!! I want to humiliate you". I think it's fair that google make the rule in OHA that if they want to be in OHA, they can't have forked version. This is for the integrity of the project, and for making sure that android is not fragmented (in the real way, not in the apple-terminology). If some company want to fork android but using some google service, and don't want some, it's the same as ripping off google.

R

Well, for my own use, screen size is just one factor. I actually want a small screen on my phone, so it will fit in my pocket and not pull my pants down, but I've been gradually pushed into bigger sizes because I also want a phone that works for my purposes.

In my latest move, I'm going from a 3.7" phone to a 4.7" phone. It's not because I want the larger screen, though it's very pretty. It's because the 3.7" phone has defective software that makes it drop calls often, and its hardware is unable to upgrade from Gingerbread or install more than a few apps, and my carrier is requiring me to upgrade to this new phone to fix these problems.

In general, the bigger phones have sharper screens and faster processors and more storage and better battery life. The iPhone has been insulated somewhat, because they're carefully designing their systems to have decent resolution, battery life, performance without becoming huge.

But, usually, the people I see with huge phones do buy them because they want that huge and sharp screen. Maybe for some people it's a proxy for quality, like the tail feathers of a peacock. Or maybe they desire the bigger size independently, because you can fit more data or make the text and icons bigger on it.

There needs to be more market research to figure this out, and Samsung seems to be in the right position to do this.

AndThisWillBeToo

@Satya Nutela
> @LeeBase
> "Finally you end with "you're an iSheep""
> You really ARE an iSHEEP!!!!

He is and boy do we love his comments because of it, not despite of it. :)

Dipankar

"E7 Nokia at the time had the 4 inch screen - bigger than the contemporary iPhone, as a well-functioning touch screen - plus the physical QWERTY wide keyboard as a slider-folder expansion."

I absolutely loved the E7 for just this reason... best of both worlds. If you like touchscreen, go ahead and keep the phone closed. Need to write a long email fast? Slide out the QWERTY!
Nokia probably should have made more of these, but this side-slider QWERTY category would never become too popular (unless, maybe Apple decided to put one on the next iPhone).

Besides this, my personal opinion is that 4 to 4.5 inches is the ideal size. Anything bigger is difficult to type with one hand, and bulges out of your pocket. But what do I know! The market clearly thinks otherwise.

RottenApple

Concerning bigger screens, for me it boils down to one simple thing:

On a 4'' display I am having trouble typing with the small on-screen keys. That tiny little unimportant fact outright kills smaller phones for me.

Huber

Leebase says:

>> Google is not open source in any real sense of the word. It does not have a community of developers.

This is a lie, pure and simply.

I already provided a link to a XDA, I can do easily it again: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2397511

Just look at this link - you have your open source kernel and OS sources on Github, how could an OS be more open?

On XDA you have your community of Android developers, programming tools like XPOSED framework, Kernels, custom ROMs etc.

How can Leebase claim that there is no community? Is he really so ignorant to spread around bullshit, or is he a liar? I really do not know anymore.

And then this lie here:

>> And if you think rooting a phone is a good thing, then iPhone users have the same option via Jailbreaking.

Is jailbreaking really the same? Is Apple actively supporting jailbreaked devices, like Google does? Are in Apple's App Store apps which can only be used on jailbreaked iPhones?

On Google's Play store you find apps which only work on rooted devices, like SuperSU or FolderMount

So here you have your difference.

I really like to discuss things, and I can accept other opinions. But I hate liars, and what Leebase does here is lying, pure and simple.

Satya Nutela

@Huber (above post)

Tottally agree. Leebase is like an asshole who can't thanks google goodwill, but bow down to apple iron fist.

@LeeBase

Let's talk..... You're problem is not about the DEGREE of open source but with google. Whatever google did, you think it's wrong!!!

Opensource... There is no right or wrong or more opensource. It's up to the owner of project to define how much open, or how the governance of the project is.

In case of android, google made part of the source code open in AOSP, but keep the one that were for Google Service NOT open. Which is not right or wrong. This just the way of balance that Google want. If YOU (or any other manufacture) think it's not fair, then no one force YOU (or that manufacture) to use Google. They can use WP and dead like nokia.

I would use an analogy of a party. In Google party.... Google, the beer company, offer many kind of food, and put the recipe next to the food. All this food recipe is CREATED by Google, and given free. But no recipe on their famous Beer. You see this, and say GOOGLE IS EVIL, despite Google give you Google caviar, Google lobster, etc, and give the recipe. You want Google to give you their famous recipe for their Beer too. Because you want to create their beer, and ripped them off. (otherwise, why?)

But when talking about other party, the Apple party, where's you pay with a hefty sum of money, and you just can enjoy the food, and no recipe on the side of the menu. You bow down, no comment!!! You only say. This is the best Apple lobster, and Apple caviar. I don't need the recipe, I have plenty of money, and I can buy this Apple lobster & Apple caviar again and again and again. While you also say, "all those who eat google stuff is a lame, poor, and don't bring profit to google"

The same as in WP party.

There is only 1 logical explanation to this phenomenal... and I'm very sorry for what I'm about to say.... You're an iSheep!!! You're affraid of google because you already sided with Apple, or you're just a plain asshole.

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