A new study from NPD DisplaySearch today shows that on average, the diagonal size of LCD and other displays on electronic devices and public signboards is on the rise, with the notable exception of mobile PCs. In some areas, NPD is showing huge growth, like the whopping 38 percent projected increase in mobile phone screen size between 2010 and 2013.
Display sizes are also making modest increases in other areas, like the 5 percent change in desktop monitors (from 19.9-inches in 2010 to a projected 20.9-inches in 2013), or the 29 percent spike in portable media player size. Given that Apple has a huge portion of both the PMP and mobile phone spaces, its recent introduction of larger-screened iPhones, iPod touches and iPod nanos likely influenced the significant project growth in those areas. Android and Windows Phone 8-powered devices are also seeing screen sizes packing on extra inches, however, so the fire was already started long before Apple came along to help bring up the average.
Why are mobile PC screen sizes trending downwards? NPD says it’s because of a couple of factors, including the rising interest in ultrabooks (though there’s some debate about how interested customers actually are in that category), and more importantly, the growth of tablets. Average sizes are expected to fall from 13.6-inches to 12.2-inches between 2010 and 2013 in the mobile PC segment, and if Microsoft’s new Windows 8 OS makes the splash in tablets the company seems to be hoping it will with the Surface and third-party offerings, that number could go even lower as 10-inch devices flood the market.
In the end, that means consumers can continue to expect their video and digital image media devices to get larger and larger, for the most part, which is also good news for content producers and those working in advancing digital A/V tech. I’m just hoping all mobile phones don’t go on a Galaxy Note II growth spurt, because that would require too much rethinking in terms of how we design and build pants pockets.