How Big Will Smartphones Get?
While Samsung, LG and other manufacturers attempt to make their phones as big as possible, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is hanging onto the four-inch format.
BlackBerry's (NASDAQ: BBRY) new phone, the Z10, is only slightly bigger at 4.2 inches.
Thus far, Samsung has pushed the boundaries of smartphone development by releasing the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II. Huawei pushed things a little further when it unveiled a six-inch smartphone.
Now Asus is rumored to be developing a seven-inch Android 4.1 tablet that will come equipped with "voice communication functions." According to DigiTimes, the device could be unveiled this month at the 2013 Mobile World Congress.
Scheduled to take place during the week of February 25 in Barcelona, Spain, the Mobile World Congress is one of the industry's largest events. Several high-profile phones are rumored to be unveiled during the event, including Samsung's Galaxy S IV.
Asus' tablet is expected to feature an Atom Z242 processor from Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) and a 1280x800 IPS touch screen, as well as 16GB memory, 1GB RAM and a 3MP rear camera. According to DigiTimes' "upstream supply chain" sources, support for 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS will also be included.
The device could be priced between $271 and $305. This would be a bit higher than the domestic price of Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Nexus 7 and Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN) Kindle Fire, but it would be significantly lower than competing large-size smartphones.
That said, would anyone actually use a seven-inch tablet to make a phone call?
"You can't avoid physical screen size," CNNMoney's Adrian Covert wrote in a piece last month. "Good or bad, it's something that confronts you in every interaction with your phone. And every last ounce of my being hopes that the [6.1-inch] Huawei Ascend Mate serves as a red flag warning the industry that bigger phones do not automatically equate to better phones."
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