The steady increase of smartphone screen size could be a major boon for the wireless carriers supporting them, as a new study reveals consumers with larger-screen smartphones use significantly more data than those with smaller screen phones.
According to The NPD Group, data consumption on smartphones with screens that were 4.5 inches or larger was 44% greater than on smartphones with smaller screens. According to the report, average data consumption on the larger screen phones as 7.2 GB per month, compared with 5 GB per month for the smaller phones.
“As consumers we’re going to need to opt for larger [data] plans or be more diligent about offloading [usage] to WiFi,” John Buffone, director, devices, Connected Intelligence, at the NPD Group, tells Marketing Daily. “It should help [carriers] migrate consumers to larger data plans.”
The future holds even more promise, as the number of larger-screen smartphones increases. At the end of the third quarter 2012, according to NPD, large-screen smartphones accounted for only 11% of the retail models available. At the end of the same period in 2013, larger-screen phones accounted for 28% of the available models. (Not coincidentally, data usage has also increased 19% in that same period, and most of the data consumption is coming from increased use of social media, navigation, video, retail and music apps.)
“Even though today larger screens represent a smaller part of the market, their relevance is increasing as consumers look for more ways to interact with content while on-the-go,” Buffone says. “This is a win, not only for the manufacturers, but also for the carriers as data consumption and usage will keep increasing.”