Will there be a wave of 6 inch smartphones this year?

April 8, 2013
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Just how large do you like your smartphone screens? Is the Sony Xperia Z’s 5-inch display just about right? Does 5.5 inches like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 offer the optimal screen size, or is bigger always better, as in the 6.1 inch Huawei Ascend Mate?

According to a report from DigiTimes, 6-inch displays are quickly coming into fashion amongst smartphone makers, and component suppliers are gearing up to ship enough panels to meet a foreseen rise in big-screen smartphones this year. In particular, Japan-based display manufacturers, mainly Sharp and Panasonic, have been ramping up production of 6-inch ultra-thin panels. These displays will be targeted at high end smartphones utilizing high quality displays, and will be appearing in handsets which are expected to launch around the end of Q3 2013.

DigiTimes credits the Samsung Galaxy Note series for having inspired manufacturers to invest in this form factor. Samsung recorded over 8 million sales of Galaxy Note devices in 2012. Acer has also made a point of noting this demand, as it expects large-screen smartphone global sales to exceed 10 million units in 2013.

As with most reports from suppliers cited by DigiTimes, though, it’s best to take these with a grain of salt, until the time manufacturers actually announce (or leak) devices in this form factor. Still, I’m not convinced quite yet that bigger is always better when it comes to mobile phones. There’s a market distinction between tablets and smartphones for a reason, and I’m just not sure that I want to carry around a handset that’s any bigger than necessary when I’m out and about. Perhaps someone in the comments can convince me otherwise.

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