If 2012 is known as the year of smartphones with 4.7-inch displays, 2013 will be the year of 5-inch mobile devices.
According to DigiTimes, industry sources claim that a number of phone makers are expected to roll out smartphone models with 5-inch full HD displays in the first half of 2013. While companies such as LG and Samsung are able to manufacture display panels in-house, other phone vendors can obtain supplies from Japan Display (JDI), Sharp or LG.
The latest report does not come as a surprise since a number of phone makers have announced devices or are alleged to be introducing phones with bigger displays. Taiwanese phone maker HTC currently leads the pack with the 5-inch Butterfly, which was announced last week.
A Huawei senior executive also confirmed that the Chinese company is working on a 6.1-inch smartphone. The device is speculated to make an appearance at CES 2013 next month. For Sony Mobile, there are leaked images and specs of the Sony Xperia "Odin" and "Yuga". Samsung, the world's biggest phone manufacturer, is rumored to launch a 6.3-inch Galaxy Note III device in 2013.
Sooner or later, these supersized smartphones are going to encroach on the 7-inch tablet space. Will these devices continue to appeal to consumers? Judging from the global sales of the 5.5-inch Samsung Galaxy Note II and the huge crowds that turned up for its local launch, there is a possibility that 7-inch tablets will be replaced.