Steve Jobs of Apple was no big fan of the 6 inch smart phone; infamously stating that no one was going to buy a big phone. The proliferation of phablets and even Apple’s own success with the iPhone 6 Plus showed just how wrong the polarizing tech figure was this time around.
Yet just how did these plus-sized smart phones manage to secure so much demand in an already crowded smart phone market? What was it exactly about them that ‘clicked’ with people?
Small smart phones may be easy to carry around by fitting comfortably into our pockets, but let’s face it: they are a pain to use.
Sure, people got used to 3, 4-inch displays when smart phones first came out. Everybody was going “ooh” and “aah” over how the early generations of smart phones were changing their lives. After all, fiddling with a touch screen and installing your own apps was a big leap over phones that used hard physical buttons and had a very rudimentary display.
The Arrival Of The Tablet
The next big thing after the smart phone was the tablet. These devices had huge screens that were a joy to use. The bigger screens made it possible for designers to come up with apps that took advantage of all that space – apps that changed the way we interact with touch screen devices.
The problem, however, was that these apps worked very poorly with existing smart phones. The screens were simply too small for the average user to comfortably work with these new apps. Then people started to notice just how difficult it was to work with a 3 or 4-inch screen compared to the huge space they had with tablets.
This is where the 6 inch smart phone comes into the picture.
A Taste of Freedom
The first large screen smart phone that really took off was the Samsung Galaxy Note, selling a grand total of 10 million units in its life cycle. Those figures were significant enough to show that big smart phones had a market – and that’s when 6 inch smart phones started to catch the eye of the mainstream consumer.
Once people tasted the ‘freedom’ of working with phones that have large screens, they soon found themselves restricted when they reverted back to phones with smaller 4-inch screens. Everything seemed tiny to the point of being hard to work with, especially with modern-day apps, and so the market for phablets continued to grow and grow.
This is especially true for the older demographic. 6 inch smart phones are much more forgiving of clumsy fingers, and the large screen allows for larger font sizes without crowding out the device’s screen.
Phablets Within Reach
Technological and manufacturing advances played a big role in the popularity of 6” smart phones as well.
Larger battery capacities, more energy-efficient processors, falling screen prices – these factors helped push the prices of phablets down to levels that the average consumer can afford. This has made phablets particularly popular in developing markets, where people are snapping up an all-in-one device that offers the most value for their cash.
After all, phablets at the 90 to 280 USD mark are quite capable of a wide array of tasks – from handling calls and text messages to browsing websites and playing videos. That’s a huge thing when you are working on a budget.
These are the factors that explain why 6 inch smart phones are so popular right now – and how they’ll most likely become even more popular in the many years to come!
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