How Samsung Proved Steve Jobs Wrong

by: - Last updated on: October 30th, 2019

Guest post by Sitakanta.

We can admit that the display is one of the most important aspects of any mobile phone. Moreover, it is undoubtedly the most important aspect for a touchscreen mobile phone. Some like it small, while others like it big, but, is there anything like a perfect screen size for a touchscreen mobile phone? There have been many debates about it but right from the start, Apple has been using a 3.5 inch touchscreen panel on all the models of iPhone and iPod Touch.


Apple’s love with 3.5 inch screens and Steve Jobs’ views on larger screens

After thorough research and examination, Apple finalized the use of a 3.5 inch touchscreen in the iPhone and iPod Touch because, it is the perfect diagonal size which lets either thumbs reach every corner of the screen while you are holding the device in your hands.

Apple, more importantly Steve Jobs, has always been very critical about the bigger screen sizes on other devices. Steve Jobs has often stated,

“3.5 inch handset size is the “sweet spot” for mobile phone design; big enough to produce detailed, legible graphics, but small enough to fit comfortably in the hand and pocket.”

Not that he was wrong, but the market has responded differently.

Manufacturers Verdict: Large Screens Are ‘IN’

Meanwhile, after the success of the original Galaxy S, Samsung released all the high-end smartphones with screen sizes larger than 3.5 inch. All the successors of Galaxy S had bigger screen than the predecessors, starting from 4 inches to 4.8 inches. Other manufacturers such as HTC, Motorola, LG and Sony also started manufacturing smartphones with screen sizes larger than 3.5 inches. Motorola was in fact the first to ship a 4.3 inch Android smartphone with the Droid X.

Many people bought Samsung Galaxy Note which has a gigantic screen size of 5.3 inches. Samsung Galaxy Note price is similar to that of Apple iPhone 4, but provides larger screen and more enhanced visual experience. Stalwarts such as HTC one X, Samsung Galaxy S3 have removed the exclusiveness of iPhone being the lone retina display smartphone but also, gave people what they wanted; large screen sizes. We have created a distribution of all the touchscreen phones on sale as of August, 2012 according to their screen sizes. More than half of the touchscreen phones (priced above INR 10,000) have screen sizes larger than the ‘magical 3.5 inch’ screen size.

Numbers Don’t Lie: Consumers Love Large Screens Too

Samsung has sold around 60 million units of Samsung Galaxy S, Galaxy S2 and Galaxy S3 combined, and more than 9 million Galaxy Notes. After the surprising success of 5.3 inch Galaxy Note, there are rumours that Samsung plans to release its successor, Galaxy Note 2 with a 5.5 inch screen. While these maybe the most evident numbers available at disposal. The sales of other large screen phones should equally be significant. It is clear now that large screens are popular among consumers, despite their ergonomic draw backs. Let us have a look at the numbers now. This chart from AppBrain shows the top 20 Android phones according to their current market share. If you closely observe, except for three phones, all others have screens bigger than 3.5 inches in size. This proves that consumers love large screens (above 3.5 inches).

Android phone model

Current Market Share

Change in the last 30 days

Samsung Galaxy S2


↓ 5 %

Samsung Galaxy S3


↑ 23 %

Samsung Galaxy S


↓ 9 %

Samsung Galaxy Note


No change

Samsung Galaxy Y


↑ 9 %

Samsung Galaxy Ace


↓ 6 %

HTC Desire HD


↓ 11 %

HTC Evo 4G


↓ 14 %

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1


No change

Samsung Galaxy Mini


↑ 4 %

Motorola Droid X


↓ 8 %



↓ 23 %

Galaxy Nexus


↓ 2 %

Samsung Epic Touch 4G


↑ 14 %

HTC Desire


↓ 13 %

Samsung Galaxy S Plus


↓ 15 %



↑ 8 %

Samsung Admire


↓ 13 %

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S


↑ 11 %

HTC Wildfire


↓ 5 %

The Big Screened iPhone is Coming


If rumours are proven right, Apple is planning to release a 4 inch iPhone 5 (or whatever it’ll be named) this September, due to popular demand from consumers for a screen size larger than 3.5 inches. This goes on to prove that although Steve Jobs was right about 3.5 inches being the perfect size, people increasingly love phones with larger screen. Many iPhone enthusiasts had expressed their disappointment over iPhone 4S not featuring a larger screen, this despite several fake videos and pictures featuring a 4”screen. It will be interesting to see if Apple breaks past the late Steve Jobs beliefs and goes ahead in bringing out an iPhone with bigger screen. For now, it’s Apple vs the world in the debate over screen sizes.


The iPhone has long been idealized as being the perfect smartphone. Its design aesthetics as well as operating system and applications have made it the king of smartphones. But the rise of Android and Samsung has changed the definition of what a good smartphone is. Screen resolutions are no longer about ergonomic or aesthetic functionality, but about providing crystal clear visual experience. Steve Jobs may not have approved of Apple’s rumoured foray into bigger screen phones and small screen tablets, but the world seems itching for the iPhone 5 with larger screen than the previous versions.

This was a guest post by Sitakanta who is running, a mobile and price comparison engine for books and mobile phones.

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  1. Its not about “liking” larger screens. I will again say large screens are very inconvenient to handle. Ask any galaxy note user. The trend you see is simply due to number games.
    People who buy these smartphones do it mostly for showing off. And what better than larger numbers for that? Who needs a quad core in a mobile phone? I mean, really!? It is a wastage.
    Android is still a very buggy OS. Its battery draining, non user friendly at times, looks are also not easy on the eyes.
    “But the rise of Android and Samsung has changed the definition of what a good smartphone is”
    Definitions of good don’t change with the market shares. You need to look at a lot more factors than that. How long do the people actually stay with their same samsung? How much time does it take before their samsungs start to misbehave? What is the reselling price of these samsung devices?
    When something comes cheap, you should know why it is so. The world already has a lot of e-waste, we don’t want more of cheap unreliable electronics.

    1. Some valid points in there. But the author has clearly mentioned the issues with bigger screen. He says “Not that he was wrong, but the market has responded differently.”
      Moreover, no one can discount the market share of phones. If more and more people are buying some phones, it actually means they are liking what they are getting.
      And there are lot of repeat customers for Galaxy range of smartphones. And phones like SGS3 or HTC One X are not “cheap” by any standards.

    2. It’s really all about personal preference; to someone who only uses
      their smartphone to send texts and talk on the phone, a huge screen
      might be an inconvenience and you definitely wouldn’t need a quad-core
      chipset. But mobile gaming is blowing up right now — there are a ton of
      console-quality games like Dead Trigger, Nova 3, etc. coming out that
      need more processing power and would benefit from a larger screen, but
      I’m still kind of with you; four cores does seem like overkill – right now, at least.

      far as bugs and crashing, iOS and up-to-date versions of Android are
      about equal – in fact, iOS might even crash more than ICS in some cases

      So really, what it always comes down to with form factor or Android vs iOS in general, is personal preference — if Android was as buggy as you think it is, it wouldn’t be the most widely used mobile OS out there. And if the iPhone was really as horrible as I think it is, it wouldn’t be the top-selling handset.

    3. tera baap bahot amir hai kya…saale jisne indians ko cheap bola uska mobile use karega…steve to mar gaya ab apple ki bari hai…

      1. I’m an Android guy all the way, but I’m actually really looking forward to HTC’s Windows 8 phones – probably going to be my next gadget

  2. The numbers speaks for themselves. Steve Jobs was wrong about screen size. You can’t argue against the market and say markets it’s wrong. Just ask Nokia or RIM.