Demand Grows for Big-Screen Phones

It’s not a return to the brick, but bigger is becoming better with smartphones. Worldwide shipments of smartphones with screens 5 inches or larger grew 369 percent in the first quarter compared to just a year earlier, according to the market research firm Canalys.

SamsungS5Big-screen smartphones comprised 34 percent of worldwide smartphone shipments in the first quarter. Samsung holds a 44 percent share of smartphones with displays of 5 inches or larger. The Samsung Galaxy S5, with a 5.1 inch screen, is pictured.

“The trend is unmistakably toward larger-screen handsets at the high end of the market,” Canalys analyst Jessica Kwee said. “Consumers now expect high-end devices to have large displays, and Apple’s absence in this market will clearly not last long. Apple plainly needs a larger-screen smartphone to remain competitive, and it will look to address this in the coming months.”

Overall, Android devices accounted for 81 percent of worldwide smartphone shipments in the first quarter, followed by iOS on 16 percent and Windows Phone on 3 percent.