Apple, Samsung, BlackBerry and the Evolution of Smartphone Screens
Ever since the debut of the original Apple iPhone in 2007, the most visible part of each smartphone generation has been the screen. Apple's 3.5-inch display, sharp and colorful screen, and menu layout revolutionized the mobile phone industry, but it wasn't long before rivals began offering similar devices but with bigger screens. Interestingly, the latest iteration of Apple's popular handset, the iPhone 5, actually offers one of the smaller screens in the market. Rivals like Samsung, Sony, LG Electronics, Huawei and ZTE are all working on 5-inch full-high-definition displays or already are offering them to consumers. Some devices, like Samsung's Galaxy Note II, which offers a 5.5-inch display and comes with a stylus, have created an informal new category of mobile technology called a "phablet"—a cross between a phone and a tablet. In this slide show, eWEEK is sticking with the smartphone class, but from 2007 to 2013, the hunger for larger screens has continued to grow. Many analysts say the 5-inch display will likely be as large as mass-market smartphones grow—for now, anyway.