Based on the latest information from NPD's Mobile Phone Track, smartphones with 4-inch-or-larger screens quickly grew to make up 24 percent of the market by Q4 2010.
The five best-selling smartphone models in 2010 that had screen sizes of 4 inches or larger were:
- HTC EVO 4G - With its huge 4.3" touchscreen, this Android smartphone with HTC Sense sold out early. Reviewers called it "everything a geek could dream of."
- Droid X - Reviewers referred to the 4.3-inch (WVGA 854 x 480) touchscreen as gorgeous, beautiful and a knockout.
- Samsung Fascinate - Verizon's version of the Samsung Galaxy S series of Android smartphones. It packs the power of a 1GHz processor, Android 2.1, 5-megapixel camera, 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen, Wi-Fi and GPS.
- Samsung Captivate - Reviewers all agreed that the Captivate captivates and called it the best Android smartphone at AT&T in August. It has been available for one cent from Amazon Wireless and highly discounted with free activation from Wirefly.
- Samsung Vibrant - The most praised features of the Samsung Vibrant are the super AMOLED touchscreen, preloaded entertainment (Avatar movie and SIM 3 game) and synching abilities.
You may notice that the top and upcoming smartphones in Wireless and Mobile News Top Ten Best Android an' Droid Phones has screens larger than 4 inches, including the HTC ThunderBolt, Samsung Droid 4G Stealth, HTC Pyramid, and HTC Shooter. New smartphones announced at CTIA - the HTC EVO 3D, LG Thrill 4G and HTC HD7S all have 4" screens or larger.
"The explosion in web and video content available for smartphones has caused consumers to rethink their phones' sizes," said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD." Larger displays offer a richer media experience, as well as a roomier surface for on-screen keyboards. Handset vendors are continuing to push the envelope of pocket real estate to complement the video capabilities of 4G handsets."
While men still make up the largest share of consumers purchasing smartphones with the largest screen sizes, women are increasingly likely to buy them. In Q2 2010 just 30 percent of large-screen smartphone purchasers were women, but by Q4 2010, women represented 40 percent of large-screen smartphone sales.
The market share for iPhones and other smartphones with screen sizes between 3.5 inches and 3.9 inches increased 2 percent over the prior year's Q4, while the market share of smartphones with screens smaller than 3.4 inches declined from 63 percent in Q4 2009 to just 36 percent of the smartphone market in Q4 2010.