A joint report formed by information and analytics firm IHS and mobile analytics provider Mobidia Technology on the impact of screen sizes in user engagement has reported that the size of mobile screens are directly proportional to the time spend engaged on applications.
The research was carried out on 25 phone models with screen sizes ranging between 3.5 inches to 5.7 inches from OEMs including Apple, HTC, Samsung and Sony in US, UK, Germany, South Korea and Japan markets. The impact was on usage was related to apps in the social, chat, game and video categories.
Key takeaways from the report:
- Q2 2014 saw 80% new phone manufactured had screen sizes equal to or more than 4.5 inches while 17% phones had screen size equal to or more that 5.5 inches.
- Revenue generated per active user from app usage on iPhone is four times as that on an Android device.
- Apple lagged in screen size till 2014 while most other devices had accepted the bigger screen trend earlier.
- Android devices generate more data usage across all markets considered for the research.
- Age of smartphone hardware was less important as compared to the screen resolution on it.
- Across all flagship devices, screen size was more important than screen resolution.
The analysis highlights the following trends:
- Larger smartphone screen sizes strongly correlate with increased app minutes of usage While the iPhone 6 has a screen of 4.7 inches, the study shows there is a tipping point for screens of around 5 inches.
- iPhone mobile app revenue generated per active iPhone is more than four times as much as Android, despite historically having smaller iPhone screen sizes than Android flagship competitors. In Q2 2014, 80 percent of smartphone models launched had screens over 4.5 inches, larger than any iPhone then on sale.
- Higher resolution screen smartphones have higher data consumption, but resolution is less important than physical screen size as an indicator of higher data use.
- Streaming video and social networking apps have a stronger link between increased data consumption and screen size than that of chat apps (e.g. WhatsApp, WeChat) or mobile games.
The report also mentions that higher engagements resulted in higher revenue through in app purchases and advertisements. Users with larger displays also spent much time streaming videos on apps like HBO Go, Netflix and YouTube. With bigger screens, Android always has an added advantage over other operating systems and hence the trend has been higher on Android phones and will continue to be so. The trend is also anticipated on Apple’s new phones with larger displays (report link).