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Shocker: smartphone users like bigger screens, market share may respond accordingly

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
September 3, 2012
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There's been a trend towards big smartphones. Sometimes, really big. Even so, concerns have persisted that the cart is driving the horse -- that customers are buying big phones because that's what's available, not because they have a preference. Kantar Worldpanel ComTech might not put that issue to bed once and for all, but its latest study suggests that there's at least some appeal to all that extra glass. Among Android phones sold in the past three months across eight countries, 29 percent of them had a screen larger than 4.5 inches. Their owners were unsurprisingly more active as well, using the internet and watching videos more often than those whose phones have more modest displays.

Market share might be following suit. Throughout the countries Kantar is tracking, Android still has roughly half or more of the market, ranging from 46.8 percent in Brazil to a staggering 86.8 percent of Spain. In Europe alone, it was up by just over a fifth from a year ago. We know iOS is taking a beating outside of the US as a result. Before anyone calls the trend irreversible, however, remember that we're on the edge of an unpredictable period: we know some mobile fans have been holding out for a new iPhone, and all the apparent rumors have Apple choosing a bigger screen that might satisfy some outstanding gripes with screen sizes. We're also anticipating at least a few Windows Phone wildcards that could shake up the status quo and make this a three-horse race.

Shocker smartphone users like bigger screens, market share responds accordingly

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