Looking at the history of mobile device development, it feels like it was centuries ago when cellular phones weighed 2lb+ and were too big to fit into our pockets. (Think: Motorola’s DynaTAC in 1983)
Mobile devices has taken a whole different toll since then, mobile devices have gotten significantly smaller, and with the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007, mobile devices have also gotten much smarter.
While the first decade of rapid mobile device growth focused on developing smaller mobilephones (i.e. Nokia “lipstick” 7280 in 2004), recent smartphone development trends shifted towards the idea of “phoneblet”, an mobile phone device at a size of a small tablet. Apple’s latest iPhone 6 plus is an example of this.
As device manufacturers from all of the world continue to develop all kinds of mobile devices of various sizes – from the netbooks a few years ago, to tablets to smartphones to wearable – we couldn’t help but wonder, what kinds of impact does the size of the devices actually have on the users? Does size really matter?
Appier’s recent Cross-Screen user behavioral research report tries to answer this very question. Based on actual campaign data from 10 Asian markets, with a sample size of 345B data points, here’s what we found:
Comparing Q1 and Q2 2014 in Asia, user preference for device screen size is shifting towards the middle. There is a growing number of larger (above 4.7 inch) mobile phones and smaller (under 8 inch) tablets. When we do a breakdown analysis on screen size, larger tablets still make up for the majority of the tablet market.
Another interesting analysis was on the correlation between screen size and advertising effectivess, in other words, ad preferences on vaious screen sizes.
All Asian markets see a similar trend that smaller screen sizes, regarless of device type, show higher ad click-through-rate (CTR). The proportionally larger “share of screen” on the smaller screens may be a potential explanation for the higher CTR on smaller screens. We also curious to find out how the introduction of iPhone 6 Plus will affect ad performance — but we’ll save that topic for another time.
Based on the report data, users in Asia prefer mid-size mobile devices, specially, smaller tablets and larger smartphones. Marketers need to develop different content based on the various screen-sizes and the advertisement layout on the different devices.
Size will change and evolve based on user needs and preferences. Size of the device is not the be-all and end-all factor for CTR performance. Content and ad relevance is still the key to running a successful ad campaign.