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What 6.1 Inch Displays Mean For The Smartphones Industry

Tickers in this article: AAPL GLW GOOG NVDA PANL RIMM

Ahead of the Computer Electronics Show (“CES”), which will be between January 8 – 11, 2013, a video was leaked showing a massive 6.1-inch Huawei phone. The device is said to have 1080p display, 2GB of memory, and a 1.8Ghz quad-core processor:

By comparison, Samsung’s (SSNLF) current Galaxy Note II is 6.3-inch, and it was reported by CNET that the Note III will have a 6.3-inch display.

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Analysis:

There is no end yet to the trend for ever-increasing display sizes for smartphones. The devices are comparably as big as tablets, but tablets start at 7-inches. Popular smartphones are typically from 4- to 4.8-inches. Comparing the screen sizes for the most popular smartphones:

  • Apple (AAPL) iPhone 5 – 4.0 inch
  • Google (GOOG) Nexus 4 – 4.7 inch
  • Samsung Galaxy III – 4.8 inch

Display resolution is another aspect to consider. Latecomer Research in Motion (RIMM), when it launches Blackberry 10, will have a resolution of 1280×720. This is higher than Apple’s 1136×640 resolution on the iPhone 5.

Samsung was the first to crack sub-tablet screen sizes, but Huawei’s entrance in this range should push prices for large-screen devices lower.  Smartphones at this size should not be considered direct competitors to ordinarily-sized smartphones like the ones listed above. It appeals to users who read or use the web far more often than talking on the mobile phone. Battery life, weight, and the ergonomics of the device are also very different than smaller smartphones.

The push for bigger smartphones might be met with tepid demand. The option for having a bigger smartphone might still drive consumers to stay with devices in the 4-4.8 inch range. In any case, Investors interested in component makers benefiting from smartphone growth could add many companies to their watch list.