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5.5-inch smartphones rise as mainstream: IDC

Smartphones with wider displays including 5.5-inch models have emerged as the new mainstream in the global market, an industry tracker said Wednesday, amid rising demand for gaming and video streaming content via mobile devices.

The trend is significant as late Apple CEO Steve Jobs preferred to have smaller handsets for single-hand use, which caused earlier iPhones to maintain a screen size of 3.5 inches.


According to industry tracker IDC, the global shipment of smartphones with 4-inch displays or smaller is anticipated to stay at 18.8 million units this year, marking a sharp drop from 86.1 million posted in 2015.

IDC said the decline will continue down the road to reach 5.4 million in 2019, eventually to become an insignificant presence in the market by 2020.

On the other hand, the combined shipment of smartphones with 5-5.5 inch displays is anticipated to hit 593 million units this year, marking a sharp rise from 447 million units posted in 2015.

IDC said the figure will expand further to reach 731 million units in 2021.

The shipment of 5.5-6 inch smartphones will also hit 749 million units in 2021 to beat the 5-5.5 inch group, it added.

"Wide-screen smartphones, which were started by Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy Note series, have emerged to become a new trend," an industry insider said. "We can say that the concept of smartphones has changed slightly."

Reflecting the latest trend, Samsung's latest flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S8 and the bigger Galaxy S8 Plus, come with 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch displays, respectively. (Yonhap)

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