5-inches: The new smartphone battleground

5-inches: The new smartphone battleground

Summary: Technology can be funny sometimes. A device like the 5-inch Dell Streak---a tablet-phone tweener that was nearly mocked at first---can wind up defining the next smartphone battleground. Even Apple is pushing to larger screens.

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Technology can be funny sometimes. A device like the 5-inch Dell Streak---a tablet-phone tweener that was nearly mocked at first---can wind up defining the next smartphone battleground.

How else to you explain Apple reportedly pushing 4-inches for its next iPhone? And you can't help but notice the screen creep everywhere. Four to 5-inches is the new battleground. We're headed to a smartphone market that has Hummers and sub-compacts with little in between.

DigiTimes reports that Apple will expand the iPhone's screen to 4 inches. In other words, DigiTimes is arguing that Apple needs to fill the void between the smartphone and iPad, which sports a 10-inch screen. I guess 7-inch tablets matter after all.

Also: Apple plots iPhone nano: In praise of smaller devices

Indeed, Samsung, HTC, Acer and others are all pushing that 5-inch screen. These are superphones. These phones are also pretty damn bulky.

But for me the biggest takeaway is that Dell's Streak, which is now billed as a superphone, defined a market. Who knew?

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Mobility, Smartphones

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17 comments
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  • bs

    a smartphone is a phone, not a tablet. it needs to go in your pocket. so 5" is much too big, even todays 4" phones are much too big for the majority of people. sure, some geeks like to carry a brick to show off this "awesome amoled screen" but not the majority of buyers, they don't care. common sense is really lost here at zdnet. <br><br>digitimes' record is spotty at best, most of their so called "reports" in the past were only rumor mongering. they know nothing. i am convinced apple thinks that even the iphone 4 is still a bit too big and tries to shrink the overall size of the phone further without compromising on screen real estate. <br><br>they will go to a 4" screen the moment it is feasible to get to an overall phone-size that is equal or smaller than the current generation, they will not introduce one of those current 4" bricks.
    banned from zdnet
    • RE: 5-inches: The new smartphone battleground

      @banned from zdnet

      Yep a brick is still a brick. If I need to do work or watch a movie on a large screen then the brick should have a keyboard and a decent screen. I can still do more on my WP7 phone than an iPad and carry it in my pocket.

      Now if someone would bring out a smartphone built into some hi res semi transparent glasses with gesture control and a virtual keyboard, then I might be interested ;-)
      tonymcs@...
    • Trouble seeing past the tips of your noses?

      @banned from zdnet

      Both of you.

      Slamming ideas because they do not seem fit YOUR particular (perceived) needs is a favorite sport around here by the more narrow minded crowd.

      Did it ever occur to you that there may be other people out there who carry BOTH an iPhone (or equiv.) AND an iPad (or equiv.) and who might be very well served by a smart phone with a larger screen, OR a small tablet that can also act as a phone.

      Let the fricking consumer and the market decide what works and what doesn't.

      Sheesh
      Economister
      • But the market is fairly small.

        @Economister

        There are people that would use a Galaxy Tab as a phone and hold it up to their head while talking. That does not mean the numbers that would do that is large.
        Bruizer
      • RE: 5-inches: The new smartphone battleground

        @Economister
        You are sooo right on. I use and carry with me, an EVO phone, a 7 inch ereader and an iPad. Because I like to really see what's happening on the screen I personally would like a 5.5 to 6 inch smart phone. Then I could on occasion carry just the one device with me.
        Laddcruz
    • RE: 5-inches: The new smartphone battleground

      @banned from zdnet I don't know. HTC and Sprint are selling TONS of 4.3 inch EVOs and 4 inch Epics... They are the best selling models by a mile.
      condelirios
  • 7&quot;

    and how come larry you think 7" tablets matter after all after samsung abandoned the screen size and almost all copycats will introduce only 9"/10" tablets in the future?
    banned from zdnet
  • Evo2 - I want a 5 inch screen

    Please enlarge my evo, and add some battery while you are at it.
    condelirios
    • RE: 5-inches: The new smartphone battleground

      @condelirios I'll just take the battery part for my Incredible.
      wuboyblue
  • RE: 5-inches: The new smartphone battleground

    The more comfortable one gets with a smartphone, the need for a bigger screen is longing.

    @banned from zdnet: Indeed people like us reading ZDNET shall discover the 'potential' first. But gradually it filters to the 'masses' too. The smart phones have quickly gone mainstream. The $$ wont be pushed in by Dell and others if it wasn't selling.

    The future again is MIDs and not 'phones'. Think about it.
    gibreel
  • 7&quot; inch screen matter, but you say everyone is going to 4&quot;-5&quot;.. what??

    or to 9-10"... did you read what you wrote?? since when is 4-5 inches equal to 7 inches? how can people adopting everything BUT 7 inches be some kind of indication that 7 inches matter.. <br><br>sorry.. does.. not.. compute.. lol..<br><br>yesterday, we have you telling us that $8 billion dollars in parts sales by Apple from Samsung is somehow bad for Samsung.. 8 BILLION DOLLARS IN SALES!! is a bad thing?<br><br>today you're telling us that 7 inches equals 4-5 inches.. just shaking my head..
    doctorSpoc
  • Big Mistake...

    ...Big FAIL

    Dell applies their old PC mentality to everything, that is why they are stuck in the tar pit.
    james347
  • 4&quot; is the practical limit for a cell phone.

    I used a Droid X for 2 weeks and it was simply too big. 4" is the upper limit to what I am willing to cart around for a phone. It fits in my pockets comfortably where the Droid X did not even come close.

    I laughed when people said they could put a Galaxy Tab in their pockets. What are they, clowns?
    Bruizer
  • I think it's a big phone, maybe too big

    But people will get used to it, in time.
    Michael Alan Goff
  • RE: 5-inches: The new smartphone battleground

    Size doesn't matter!
    Loverock Davidson
  • RE: 5-inches: The new smartphone battleground

    Personally, I don't even think of carrying my HTC Incredible in my pocket, fortunately I keep it in one of the pockets of my gym bag so the current size works for me.

    Would I like a bigger phone, probably not, yet.
    wuboyblue
  • RE: 5-inches: The new smartphone battleground

    Yes I want 5 inch smart phone , do u know where.
    drhqaisi