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4"+ smartphones -- the market has spoken (and it says yes)


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#1 of 201 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted April 04 2011 - 05:09 AM

http://www.mobiledia...news/85835.html




The Thunderbolt is outselling the iPhone in 28 percent of Verizon stores, and matching it in 61 percent, according to a somewhat informal study conducted by BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk.   The Thunderbolt sports a very large 4.3-inch display, and a recent report showed that smartphones with screens 4-inches and larger scooped up a quarter of the market is just six months last year, while market share for phones with display 3.5-inches and smaller -- like the iPhone -- fell by half.


This is the recent report:


http://www.mobiledia...news/84782.html


At this point, Steve Jobs is going to have to eat his words (again) and release a 4" iPhone, presumably named the iHummer.


Pixel density is nice, but it looks like bigger is better when it comes to smartphone screens.







#2 of 201 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted April 05 2011 - 03:21 AM

Cart <- Horse




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#3 of 201 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted April 05 2011 - 10:40 AM

While the iPhone speculation is admittedly just that, (although that rumor is pretty persistent) Samsung decided that the 4" screen on the original Galaxy S, rather than being too big, was actually too small, moving to 4.3" with the S2. So it's clear that the manufacturers are moving to larger screens rather than smaller.

#4 of 201 OFFLINE   davesmith

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Posted April 05 2011 - 09:34 PM

Are we thinking there might be two iPhones this year? A 3.5inch iPhone 'Basic' which could be the iPhone 4 with 8gb of memory and a 4.3inch iPhone 'Advanced' with an uprated processor and camera and larger storage capacity maybe. Stranger things have happened, and Apple have already expressed a desire to go mass market.



#5 of 201 OFFLINE   nolesrule

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Posted April 06 2011 - 12:56 AM



Originally Posted by Sam Posten 

Cart <- Horse




Yeah. I know what you mean. Those 15" desktop computer monitors and 19" televisions were the bomb. And no one will ever need more than 640kB of RAM.


As my eyes get older, I find slightly larger screen size to be more useful than pixel density. My optometrist agrees.


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#6 of 201 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted April 06 2011 - 01:33 AM



Originally Posted by Sam Posten 

Cart <- Horse




Head

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Sand




#7 of 201 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted April 06 2011 - 04:43 AM


Originally Posted by Hanson Yoo 

http://www.mobiledia...news/85835.html


At this point, Steve Jobs is going to have to eat his words (again) and release a 4" iPhone, presumably named the iHummer.


Pixel density is nice, but it looks like bigger is better when it comes to smartphone screens.

This report, as summarized, says nothing specifically on those points. They may be correct statements, but they can't be drawn from this report.


The Thunderbolt is outselling the iPhone in 28 percent of Verizon stores, and matching it in 61 percent, according to a somewhat informal study conducted by BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk

All that says is that in 28% of Verizon stores, the Thunderbolt outsold the iPhone. But it says nothing about total volume of Verizon iPhones sold compared to total Thunderbolt volume nationwide. Nor does it account for total numbers sold at BestBuy, Apple Stores, etc. As reported, the claims it makes are true but not necessarily informative


Nor does it does say anything about the buying experience: Are customers coming in wanting to buy a Thunderbolt? Are they ignorant and salespeople tell them to buy a Thunderbolt over an iPhone? Do they come in wanting an iPhone, but after receiving a thorough and unbiased comparison, choose the Thunderbolt instead? Or is it because the majority of new phones have larger screens, so they are the biggest sellers by default? This issue doesn't matter in terms of sales volume, but it does mean that screen size may have nothing to do with the purchase decision -- or it's everything -- but we don't know as these are given in the reporting.


Lies, damn lies, and statistics :)


Perhaps I'm being unfair, but assume these "analysts" are of the same ilk as the jokers at IDC:

http://money.cnn.com...ecast/index.htm



#8 of 201 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted April 06 2011 - 04:46 AM

P.S. I like the idea of a 4.5" 1280 x 720 screen. But 4.5" 800 x 400 screens leave me ambivalent.



#9 of 201 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted April 06 2011 - 05:35 AM

The iHummer line was tongue in cheek speculation.  But the fact is that the 4"+ Android market is quickly growing while the 3.5" market is contracting.  I don't think it's out of line to conclude that consumers are preferring larger sized screens.


And while there is a 4.5" phone coming, the size limit appears to be 4.3".  The Evo 3D will have a 4.3" 960 X 540 screen, which calculates out to 258 ppi (the screen is more precisely 4.27").  But I suppose that's still too chunky looking for your tastes.



#10 of 201 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted April 07 2011 - 01:31 AM

My cart before the horse comment was directly responding to the Steve Jobs jab.  Apple doesn't do ANYTHING just because it's popular or because that's what everyone else is doing.  If you think that's even remotely true then there's nothing I can say that has relevance because you are in a different universe.




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#11 of 201 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted April 07 2011 - 04:22 AM

You make it sound like Jobs will only do whatever is unpopular.


If Jobs realizes there is a utility for larger smartphone screens, Apple will make them.  It's not like Steve Jobs has never gone back on his statements.


The question is, if Jobs all of a sudden finds them utilitarian, will you follow in lockstep? Posted Image





#12 of 201 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted April 07 2011 - 04:51 AM

I think Apple will go back the opposite direction starting w/ iPhone 6 and start a new trend to get rid of the screen *and* use of flash memory (among other things) completely. Posted Image


Actually, I think the future of smartphones *should* be to head toward semi-convergence between phone and tablet where you can have a small phone module (maybe w/ minimal display, if any at all) that can interchangeably plug into a portable PDA device or a larger tablet or whatever else so the wireless service can be shared across devices and be used w/ whatever device is most suitable to whatever your current need, eg. a large tablet would make sense at home and in the office, a 4-7" PDA would make sense for quick-and-easy on-the-go use (and for apps like GPS nav), a mid-size PDA/tablet might make sense if you expect to be able to use it in sit-down situations, etc.


If the phone module doesn't actually need to do any PDA stuff (other than be a data service conduit, etc.), it can probably be tiny.  Probably only needs to be big enough for a chip+OS to handle dumb phone features and connectivity w/ PDA/tablet, the wireless chipset (including BT), big enough battery (which can be smaller for no/minimal display), etc.  Use BT for remote headset (w/ voice control) or maybe even plug the phone module into a separate, dumb handset perhaps to keep the phone module as small as possible (and maybe even always have it operate off the handset/PDA/tablet host's power instead to further reduce its size)...


I can dream a little, can't I? Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image


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#13 of 201 OFFLINE   Bob Graz

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Posted April 07 2011 - 05:35 AM

Now if my 3.2" LG could project an image...



#14 of 201 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted April 07 2011 - 05:40 AM

Having 20/20 vision (corrected), I prefer the iPhone 4 screen to anything else I've seen. In 5+ years, when I've got presbyopia :) my preferences may well change. I won't rehash this topic past that :) My point remains that these "analyst" reports don't tell us much. If we draw the right conclusions, it's more luck (or personal reasoning) than from solid data in these articles.

#15 of 201 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted April 07 2011 - 08:21 AM

There's a big difference between doing something BECAUSE it is contrary to what the rest of the crowd is doing and doing something that is against the grain because you feel it is the right way to go.


Apple isn't above doing things that at least on the surface seem like they are mimicking the crowd.  Social:Ping.  Web:cloud tech.


I posit that it's following the MONEY and -opportunity- rather than blindly copying what others have landed as a tenuous beachhead.

The difference is that, usually at least, and there are exceptions here too, (iPod hifi i'm looking at you!  http://en.wikipedia....wiki/IPod_Hi-Fi) once Apple identifies a real opportunity they pick at it and refine it after starting small and getting at the essence of what has interested them.


So yea, it wouldn't seem all that odd to me that Apple gets more into social and cloud and it will seem like they are doing it just because everyone else is.


But to go from a form factor that has been breathlessly described as 'the perfect thing' to bigger just because the monkeys at Motorola thought they could differentiate their phone by making it a little bit bigger and a few other also rans are flocking to it to show how savvy they are?  Not so much.


I'm all in on both sides of Apples OSX/iOS ecosystem, but that doesn't mean I blindly buy whatever they put out and it doesn't mean I'm religiously entrenched at the 3.5" form factor of today.  If Apple makes a bigger iPhone you can be sure it will be nothing like the bigger Androids that you are a fan of.  And I cannot speculate whether that device would captivate me enough to buy one or not but I suspect that they would have to make the form factor different enough to be worth it.  I'd have to give it a hard look and evaluate it on it's own merits for being my next phone.   I don't like the bigger androids today because of a number of factors:

-The form isn't comfortable in my hands

-The resolution is about equivalent to the iPad and I'd rather have a bigger device with that (OR BETTER!) pixel density or a smaller device with remarkable pixel density, this seems like a poor equivalent for the size

-They tend to eat up more battery life


Could Apple solve these issues and make me happy?  Probably.  I bet an Android developer who wanted to could too, but I'm not holding my breath for either of them to do so.


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#16 of 201 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted April 07 2011 - 09:15 AM


Originally Posted by Sam Posten 
I don't like the bigger androids today because of a number of factors:

-The form isn't comfortable in my hands

-The resolution is about equivalent to the iPad and I'd rather have a bigger device with that (OR BETTER!) pixel density or a smaller device with remarkable pixel density, this seems like a poor equivalent for the size

-They tend to eat up more battery life


Could Apple solve these issues and make me happy?  Probably.  I bet an Android developer who wanted to could too, but I'm not holding my breath for either of them to do so.


Yeah, issues #1 and #3 are very significant.  The device is first-and-foremost a phone afterall, so it really needs to do what a regular dumb phone can do well -- and any phone should be able to last at least 2 days of practical/normal usage before needing a recharge (although I do think the iPhone should do better than others just because the battery is not easily and cheaply replaceable, which means it needs to require less recharging to extend the useful life of the battery).  #2 is not a real issue to me since I think the newer Android smartphones have high enough res now.


Having said that though, honestly, I don't think *any* of these devices make solid phones ergonomics-wise anyway.  That's one reason why I was dreaming about the "future" in my post above.  At this point, I'm just about resolved to simply use some sort of hands-free headset if/whenever I need to make a long-ish phone call -- and my Sennheiser "made-for-iPhone" headset seems to work quite well for duo purpose needs (ie. music and phone calls) although I'm hearing some states, including NY, are considering legislating laws against use of stereo headphones even for pedestrians (though such laws may just end up like typical jaywalking laws and not be strictly enforced in anyway).


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#17 of 201 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted April 07 2011 - 10:50 AM

You were serious about wanting a smartphone with no screen ??? Rather than having to plug and unplug, and physically manage devices -- only allowing me to use the phone or the tablet or the laptop, not all three at once -- I'd rather have a unified cell account. That's essentially trivial on the carrier's part and give the core data unification you want. Data sync can be done with a good "cloud" system. Get the behaviors you want without the nightmare usability of modular hardware :)

#18 of 201 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted April 07 2011 - 11:10 AM

Haha...  No, I wasn't serious about screen-less smartphone... Posted Image ... but on 2nd thought, why not if we'll ever get very far w/ cloud computing and end up in a Star Trek future reality? Posted Image



Yeah, I suppose just having unified account on the carrier side may be good enough though it'd still be nice to be able to reuse these devices across different telecom techs that would only reside (and require changing) in the wireless data/phone module I was thinking of.  That way we also wouldn't need to be stuck w/ one carrier or another, especially here in the USA, or one flavor of 3G vs whatever other flavor of 4G or maybe even WiFi, etc.  I guess this will matter more if/when we ever get to the point where these devices reach a certain maturity level similar to current PC tech so that you may not want to move to a new device every year or two...


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#19 of 201 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted April 08 2011 - 01:57 AM

It's speculated that the iPhone 5 or iPhone 6 will be a universal phone, straddling both GSM and CDMA for use on AT&T and Verizon. I don't know if that's possible -- antenna design is an art -- but if so, would partly answer what you (and others) want.


But this issue of modularity, carrier portability, etc., isn't a technical problem so much as from corporate antipathy -- it's a byproduct of the US phone business. :) No amount of hardware will overcome the carrier's refusal to play ball.



#20 of 201 OFFLINE   davesmith

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Posted April 08 2011 - 02:15 AM

the US phone industry is hard for a brit to get their head around tbh






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