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Kagan: Bigger smartphones not always better

Why are smartphone product designers getting it so wrong? Maybe they are using their own personal preferences. Maybe they got some bad data. It doesn’t matter. They are wrong. The entire wireless marketplace does not want huge screens and giant smartphones. A slice of the market does. However, another slice of the market does not. Why are they being ignored?

Many prefer a huge screen, but others prefer a smaller, lighter device that fits in any pocket and can be used with one hand. If that’s the case, why don’t we see smaller smartphones as a choice?

It’s because smartphone makers think they know what the market wants. They think they control what we like. They don’t get it. The customer chooses in any market. Sooner or later, this lack of choice will hit some smartphone makers right between the eyes.

Consider your own family and friends and you’ll see what I mean.

One of my children in the is musical entertainment business and performs at parties like corporate events, weddings, Bar-Mitvahs and so on. He loves his big screen Apple iPhone, iPad tablet and MacBook. He uses these devices to show prospective clients what he has done. So, the big screen iPhone is a winner here.

Another uses his smartphone for more basic needs like phone calls, text messaging and social sites. He had several larger iPhones, but broke the screen of them all when they fell out of his pocket. Now that he is using a smaller iPhone it stays put in his pocket and he likes it much better. And he can even use the phone with one hand. Something we all used to be able to do.

My wife still loves her smaller iPhone. She has no reason to struggle with a larger device and loves it. My mother uses an iPhone for the last few years. She recently upgraded to an iPhone Plus and hated it. She couldn’t hold it and use it as easily. Many people have small hands. In fact, I think she would prefer the smaller size like my wife has, but try arguing with your mother. So, she switched back to the mid-size device.

Personally, I have multiple iPhones and Androids of all sizes and, to tell you the truth, I like the larger screen for some things, but for everyday use I prefer the smaller size devices. Larger devices require two hands, deeper pockets and tend to fall and get damaged more often. I like the one-handed action.

Bigger iPhone and Android are not always better

There are countless reasons why some prefer the huge iPhone Plus. However, there are also countless reasons why others prefer the mid-size iPhone and the smaller, original size device. So, larger iPhones or Androids are not always better. That’s right, bigger is not always better.

With that said, why don’t all smartphone makers give the customers what they want? Why don’t they advertise and market all three sizes? That means Apple iPhone, Google Android like Samsung Galaxy, LG, HTV, Huawei, Motorola, Nokia, Blackberry and so many others.

Bottom line, all customers don’t fit into one category, so stop trying to squeeze us all into the same size device. Every smartphone maker should make three sizes, small, medium and large to meet the needs of all their customers. That choice is what every customer wants. Is that too much to ask?


Jeff Kagan
Jeff Kagan
Jeff is a RCR Wireless News Columnist, Industry Analyst, Key Opinion Leader and Influencer. He shares his colorful perspectives and opinions on the companies and technologies that are transforming the industry he has followed for 35 years. Jeff follows wireless, wire line telecom, Internet, Pay-TV, cable TV, AI, IoT, Digital Healthcare, Cloud, Mobile Pay, Smart cities, Smart Homes and more.

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