Smartphones with 5-inch screens are most popular in India

Even with newer models of smartphones, tablets, and phablets being introduced in India on a regular basis, the clear winner are smartphones with a 5-inch screen. So what makes this specific size so appealing?
Written by Nitin Puri, Contributor

The most preferred size for smartphones in India is 5 inches, as the current marketplace has 25 million units and is growing at a rate of 50 percent annually, reports The Times of India. Furthermore, market watchers also agree that 5 inches, measured diagonally, is the preferred choice and clear winner In this highly competitive and growing market in India.

According to research firm IDC, for the second quarter of ending June 2013, the sales of smartphones with screen sizes from 5 inches to 6.9 inches grew 17 times from last year. To be more specific, sales are brisk for screens that are 4.75 inches. HTC offers handsets with screen sizes of 4.7 inches, while Samsung has screen sizes of 5 inches. Reports indicated that even Apple is considering increasing the screen size of their flagship iPhone from 4.8 inches to 6 inches, as it's currently only 4 inches.

Interestingly, I wonder why Apple didn't already do so with their latest iPhone offering last week? That being said, it's safe to assume Apple will catch up quick and won't left behind in the dust, as BlackBerry is. Then again, BlackBerry's demise has been predicted for months and screen size has been the last of their issues.

The preference for 5-inch screens amounts to a combination of both price and performance, and what is called pocketability. That is, as the names suggests, how easy is it for a device to slip into a pocket on a pair of jeans, pants, or even a shirt pocket. Let's be frank, some of the newer devices with larger screens, can't easily be stored in clothing and as such, effects the overall experience for consumers. Furthermore, smaller devices, while more affordable with smaller screens, simply have less processing speeds and viewing the screen itself can be a nightmare. Also, and I say this from personal experience, you have more chances of losing or misplacing your device, the smaller it is, hence size does matter.

As such, Indian consumers are happy with the 5-inch screen size, and are also comfortable with the range they’ll be expected to pay. That is, somewhere in the range of 10,000 rupees (US$160) to 20,000 rupees (US$320). Of course, this varies on the brand and model, and Indian consumers can expect to obviously pay more if they opt to purchase devices with larger screens. By the same token, they also receive more bells and whistles, with the tradeoff being how and where will they be able to store devices?

Personally, I think it looks a bit off seeing someone walking and talking on a 7-inch tablet. I thought handsets were supposed to get smaller in size over time. Size is increasing and it just reminds me of some of the iconic Motorola brick phones I had seen in the 1980's and 1990's.

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