For mobile video viewers, size does matter

As the high end smartphones seem to be getting larger with full touchscreen, people are watching more video on the go. Data collected during the recent World Cup soccer tourney shows that large screens were preferred over smaller ones.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer on

MobiTV sent along a press release reporting on their latest subscriber data and it pretty clearly confirms that for watching media on your smartphone size does indeed matter. MobiTV is a streaming video content service that is available on selected AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and other carrier phones and as I mentioned in my Samsung Vibrant review their latest client is actually quite good on the Android platform. MobiTV powers the SprintTV service that I have come to find extremely valuable for long road trips with my kids and for enjoying the World Cup while in the office and on the road.

The FIFA World Cup was watched by millions of people around the world and according to MobiTV's data those with larger displays on their smartphones watched for longer periods than those with smaller screens. MobiTV reports they delivered more than 100 million minutes of coverage from ESPN Mobile TV with 100 percent uptime. Here is what their data showed:

  • 5 inch screen - 118.2 average minutes viewed
  • 4 inch screen - 102.2 average minutes viewed
  • 3 inch screen - 67.4 average minutes viewed
  • 2 inch screen - 61.1 average minutes viewed

I am not sure what device(s) was considered for the 5 inch screen data and requested this information to give me a clearer picture here, but as you can see there is quite a difference between the 4 inch and 3 inch sizes. The 4 inch devices are those like the HTC EVO 4G, Droid X, and HTC HD2 while most every other smartphone today falls in the 3 inch range (3.1 to 3.7 inches).

A coworker has an iPhone 4 and I do think the display is incredible, but I honestly find my 4.3 inch EVO 4G display to be better for watching movies and video content. The kickstand on the EVO 4G is also a major bonus for watching extended periods of video content.

The MobiTV data also showed that Android users led the pack with an average of 125.7 minutes per viewer. BREW and Palm were second with 84 minutes, the iPhone third with 77.8 minutes, RIM BlackBerry devices fourth with 65.4 minutes and Windows Mobile with 62.7 minutes.

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