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LG: 5-inch smartphones will become the norm

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With a spattering of 5-inch devices currently dominating the high-end smartphone scene, LG has suggested that 5-inch handsets will soon become the norm, replacing existing 4-inch standards.

Speaking exclusively with TrustedReviews, LG’s Product Marketing Manager Shaun Musgrave has claimed that consumer demand is driving the push to larger and larger screen sizes, but the industry will stop around the 5-inch mark as the distinction between smartphones and tablets becomes increasingly hazy.

“I think the average smartphone screen size will probably hover around the 5-inch mark or that blurred line between handsets and tablets,” Musgrave said speaking at MWC 2013. Suggesting that the industry standard will not go much past the 5-inch mark, he added: “I don’t think 5.5-inches is too big.”

Reiterating his point, the LG head added: “I think you will probably see it even out around 5-inches or 5.5-inches. It won’t go any further than that in terms of portability, any bigger than that and you start to look like Dom Jolly.”

Claiming that consumer demand has driven the rapid rise from a standard of 3.5-inch smartphones to 4-inches and beyond, Musgrave has stated that the current breed of 5-inch devices, which includes the Sony Xperia Z and heavily rumoured Samsung Galaxy S4, will mark a new stopping point for the handset industry.

“These screen sizes seem to be a success,” he said. “People want to see their content; it’s like taking your tablet with you.”

With the rise to 5-inch handsets having been catapulted into development by a selection of hybrid ‘phablet’ devices that fell between the realms of standalone smartphones and tablets, Musgrave has predicted that the boundaries between device types will soon have a clear edge.

“Our learned friends in blue (Samsung) have obviously made a success of large screen displays, strangely enough LG are the second largest manufacturer of ‘phablet’ devices globally.

“I know you have the 7-inch tablets at the moment, but sometimes that can be too big to take with you. I know it’s good to be able to read with a 7-inch device, but the 5-inch display is probably just about the right size to enjoy your content, including watching your movies.”

Despite suggestions of a 5-inch standard, Musgrave has suggested that new technologies could soon allow manufacturers to increase screen sizes without the need to move to larger, more intrusive handsets.

“Although we can actually go bigger, we can also reduce the bezel, so the bezel size will have a massive say in actually device size,” he said before teasingly adding: “All I can say is watch this space.”

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