Ever wondered why are smartphones getting bigger and expensive? (2020)

Haven’t you noticed all major smartphones especially the flagships smartphones getting bigger and expensive than ever before? Ever wondered why?
The first smartphone with a capacitive touchscreen was LG’s Prada with just a 3-inch display although it failed catastrophically, soon the first iPhone was launched in 2007 with a 3.5-inch display and it revolutionized the smartphone industry, ever since then smartphones have been getting bigger and bigger.

But isn’t this what people want? A beautiful high-resolution display, for some part “YES”.

As of 2020 Samsung’s S20 Ultra sports a 6.9″ display while OnePlus 8 Pro features a 6.7″ display and there are folding phones with 8″ main display.

Processors part of the reason smartphones getting bigger?

Almost every flagship smartphone is launched with a Qualcomm chip inside except Huawei, Samsung(partly), iPhone who also makes its own chip.

The previous generation Snapdragon 855 had the 4G modem embedded within the chip but the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 is different, the microprocessor company decided to remove it from the chip and bundle it with the SOC in the form of a different modem called the X55

The 4G/5G modem plays a very crucial part in it, as it is a separate modem it also requires an additional space inside the phone, it’s also a reason phones getting really expensive.

5G is expensive as it’s a new technology and a new technology is always expensive in the beginning unless it’s adopted by all manufacturers.

Now even if Samsung or OnePlus don’t want the 5G they still have to get it as it’s a single modem called X55 which has both the 4G/5G.

Now people might say why are mid-range and upper mid-range phones getting bigger then? Mostly because people who purchase mid-range smartphones don’t want to feel left-out.

They can also feel they are using a good smartphone, manufacturers are just offering what people want.

Display & Power Consumption= Bigger phone?

Now if you increase the size of a smartphone you’ll also have to increase the size of the display cause bezel-less displays are the hottest thing right now, now these displays also require high power, so the battery needs to be bigger as well.

Flagship chipsets have been getting & better, for the large part it’s highly optimized and fine-tuned for lowest possible power consumption, yet, it still consumes more power than let’s say a 2 years old chipset.

The camera is also part of the reason smartphones getting bigger

Have you witnessed the camera arrays these days? Yes, Quad camera is the new norm, these lenses are huge, the housing is also bigger which plays a part in the huge camera bump, these cameras are also power-hungry.

Research & Development

With so much innovation so rapidly, the smartphone is one of the technologies that had an exponential improvement under such a short span of time.

Now the smartphone manufacturers have got very little room for improvement and innovation hence, they spend way more in R&D which also makes smartphones expensive.

When we try to put a price tag on a smartphone we also need to include the R&D spend on that particular development cause, companies like Samsung, Apple, etc. spend a huge amount of cash in R&D.

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Conclusion

Now the smartphone market is kind of saturated and innovation will be stagnant for a while with only minor incremental improvements.

Hopefully, the physical size of phones will not increase more than what we have seen, however, display sizes will increase with the fold-able rage.

What do you guys think? Do you like bigger phones and what are the reasons? Comment your take on this!