Over the last five years we have seen mobile phones reverse typical technology trends and actually become bigger. Of course, this has been brought about by consumers wanting a better experience from what has rapidly become their most used technology. This trend is great news for app developers and advertisers who have a better opportunity to engage with their end users.
The shrinking effect
During the initial stages of mobile phone saturation, the focus was primarily on creating smaller, more portable devices. The earliest mobile phones and personal data assistants were large, clunky items that were portable in only the most rudimentary sense. Later designs streamlined these communications devices and allowed them to be carried easily in a pocket, purse or briefcase. The trend toward smaller and more portable mobile devices reached its peak in 2006 or 2007; these years are generally accepted as the starting point for the rise of the mobile web.
A new way to communicate and interact
The increasing popularity and accessibility of the Internet through 3G and later 4G allowed consumers to use their mobile phones and devices in new ways. As the speed and reliability of mobile web access increased, mobile devices began to increase in size. Mobile phones were the first to reflect this new emphasis on web activity, but tablet computers and mobile computing devices soon became major players in the online marketplace. The launch of the iPad in April 2010 and the emergence of 3G networks designed for use by the average consumer created a new way to look at mobile communications and new opportunities for mobile app designers and advertisers.
Bigger is better
Most Android tablets and iPads feature relatively large touchscreens with improved backlighting for added visual appeal and usability. Mobile phones have begun to adopt the same strategies; the Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone, for example, is one of the hottest new Android smartphones for 2012 and features an oversized 5.3-inch screen to allow greater visibility and more functionality for the end user. Android tablets and iPads continue to hold down a significant percent of the mobile marketplace, so these larger devices should be factored into mobile marketing strategies and campaigns.
Building the perfect application
The added size of these mobile devices allows for more detailed display of applications and advertising materials. As a result, many app designers are incorporating scalable programs capable of displaying correctly on a wide range of screen densities. This is generally achieved by creating three separate bitmaps for 100 percent, 150 percent and 200 percent zoom capability. Advertisers can take advantage of this additional space as well by creating similar scalable designs for their mobile advertising materials to allow them to display with optimal clarity on a variety of mobile devices.
The supersizing of mobile devices is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. This developing trend can allow advertisers and app developers to create more detailed and visually appealing presentations for their target audience and to increase downloads and profits from their online marketing and distribution campaigns.