Media Future: Watchwords for consumer tech in 2013 will be “thinner” and “bigger”

y Arthur Goldstuck (@art2gee) The watchwords for consumer technology in 2013 will be “thinner” and “bigger”. If that sounds like a contradiction, it’s only because the hi-tech industry itself is wrestling with contradictory demands in two key areas of gadgetry: TV sets and cellphones. In particular, the consumer is demanding ever-thinner and lighter devices, while expecting ever-bigger screens.

That is a given when it comes to TV sets, but there has long been an assumption by market commentators that phones would always get smaller.

Apple, for example, clung tenaciously to its 3.5” screen size through the iPhone 3, 4 and 4S, it only relented a little in expanding the iPhone 5 to a 4” screen. It was trounced in the market, however, by Samsung’s Galaxy S3 with its 4.8” screen. At the same time, the first so-called “phablet” (phone/tablet), the Samsung Note, was a surprise success with its oversized 5.3” screen.

One of the big questions that the recent International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas was expected to answer was whether this push for higher screen sizes was a firm trend, or whether small remained cool.

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