It seems like smartphones keep getting bigger every year but at some point there’s a limit to the size of a device that people will want to carry with them everywhere they go. Kantar Worldpanel’s latest report on mobile trends has found that many consumers have started to shy away from the more gargantuan phablets out there and are gravitating more toward devices that are somewhere between the size of the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4.
“Close to half of European phablet owners chose a smaller screen when they bought a new smartphone last year with the sweet spot between 4.7 inches and 5 inches,” Kantar writes. “No matter how thin and light phablets become there is no getting around the pocketability. With new high-end devices like the Galaxy S4 and LG G2 fitting a 5-inch screen into a virtually bezeless body, there’s less incentive for consumers to adopt phablets.”
This is particularly interesting because it comes at a time when Apple is considering making its own larger iPhones in response to consumer demand. Looking at Kantar’s data we can see why: 56% of European smartphone owners who owned devices between 4 inches and 4.4 inches switched to a larger device last year while only 31% stuck with the same sized device. In contrast, 58% of European smartphone owners whose devices measure at 5 inches or greater said they were sticking with their smartphone behemoths.
So it’s clear that people love big phones that have bigger displays than what Apple is currently offering. We’ve heard reports that Apple will launch both a 4.5-inch model and a 5-inch model later this year, which suggests that it wants to play around at the edges of Kantar’s “sweet spot” to see what really is the ideal smartphone size.