The release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (above) has shown that Apple has joined the trend of increasing screen size on mobile phones. But why is there now this trend of increasing the screen size? I remember that not too long ago, mobile phone manufacturers were trying desperately to create smaller and smaller phones.
The trend can be traced back to the very first iPhone (above left) which I think started the touchscreen era of smartphones. Previously, Blackberry (above right) had ruled the ‘smartphone market’ with their complicated business phones with a physical keyboard, which sacrificed screen size in order to keep the phone as small as possible. The iPhone screen was considered to be extremely large when it was released; but is now seen as being tiny when put next to its modern equivalents. The reason the first iPhone had a large screen was mainly due to the fact that most functions were controlled by touch, such as the virtual keyboard, which needed a large area. Apart from that, the touchscreen just provided a better user experience and made performing some functions much easier than before. But time has shown that this seemingly large screen is no longer sufficient for modern day use.
The development of the microprocessor has had an effect on screen size. As they become more advanced, mobile phones are able to do more and nowadays they are a computer in your palm. All the leading manufacturers now produce a phone that can do almost everything a computer can do. This has resulted in mobile phone software all becoming very similar, which has given them similar requirements. One of these requirements is a larger screen, which improves browsing the web, watching films, looking at photos, etc.; all of which are now things that everyone does on their phones.
The high quality of the cameras on mobile phones nowadays has encouraged people to take more photos and videos in almost every moment of their lives. Applications such as Instagram and Snapchat have been very popular, as people love to then share their photos. This increased capturing and viewing of photos has, what I think, had a big effect on the increase in screen size.
For most people, watches have stopped just being an item to show the time for a while now. Their style has become just as important as their main purpose. They are a big fashion statement on their user, as it can be one of the few wearables that are not changed for a long time. This is why some watches are considered as jewellery, being made from gold, diamonds, and other precious metals and stones. So when Samsung introduced some of the first ‘smart watches’ (above right), I felt that there was something missing, even though it was a very innovative piece of technology. They had very limited personalisation, even less than mobile phones which can have interchangeable cases, as they did not have a large selection of colours, materials or straps. They may also appear difficult to use with many features in a small touchscreen.
The Apple Watch (above) is a big leap in smart watch design and innovation. Apple are renowned for their unique and elegant designs, which makes them perfect as a watch manufacturer. Top end watches have always been intricately made with attention to detail and using the best materials, and Apple’s iPhones have been likened to this description, but now they have actually made a watch and their attention to design is shown through it. Introducing a range of watch and strap styles makes choosing one of their watches just like choosing a normal watch, but this choice is what many people want. I think that having an 18-carat gold version keeps the modern day watch in touch with some traditional watches as being a piece of jewellery and a fashion statement. The fact that they have used the crown of the watch as the main control dial has not only made the functionality easier, but has also maintained the watch’s traditional main control centre. It’s this simple yet brilliant idea coupled with its elegant design that makes the Apple Watch stand out at the moment, in my opinion.
Technology develops at such a rapid pace that very soon, screens on mobile phones may stop becoming larger and larger; if they will even have a screen at all. As for smart watches, even though I may think the Apple Watch is a big leap, they will only be eclipsed by what is to come. Unfortunately, I’m sure that in a few years’ time I will look back at this post and think just how obsolete these products have become.