Our TVs and smartphones have not stopped growing in the last 20 years. It’s hard for them to do much more

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In 1997 the average size of LCD panel TVs in the US was 22 inches. PC monitors barely reached 19 inches with luck, and let’s not talk about the phones of that time, which had two-inch screens. We didn’t need more.

Or if? It seems so, because since then the growth in the diagonals of all our screens has been brutal. If history has shown something in these two decades in terms of screen size, it is that it becomes a reality that of ‘big horse, walk or not walk’. It does not seem, however, that there is as much room for growth as there was until now.

My TV is bigger than yours. The evolution of the size of our televisions has been spectacular: a Statista report reveals that the average size for LCD screens was 22 inches in 1997, while in 2022 that average is 50 inches. The manufacture of larger and better quality panels has exploded an industry that now offers us 65 or 75-inch Smart TVs at ridiculously low prices. And there are those who bet on 100-inch panels, although there we have another problem: putting them in the elevator to take them home.

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Average size in inches of LCD TVs in the US from 1997 to 2022. Source: Statista.

Going to the movies with the excuse of seeing everything “on the big screen” no longer makes so much sense, and that, together with the prices —and the popcorn thing— or the pandemic and streaming services, has made theaters In crisis while having a home theater has become not the exception, but the norm. You already know: if you are going to buy a TV, buy the biggest one that fits at home. I assure you that in a week you will see her normal.

The shoephone era. With mobile phones, three quarters of the same thing has happened. The arrival of smartphones has made those tiny screens of our “dumb” phones an anachronism, and since the iPhone was planted with those spectacular 3.5 inches, the thing has not stopped growing. It did so with some hesitation at first, but Samsung and its Galaxy Notes showed the world that everyone we would like shoephones. Said a Kantar study already in 2013And they only scratched the surface.

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Quota of mobiles of less and more than 5 inches worldwide between 2012 and 2017. The thing has gone to more in recent years in which the six inches have been imposed almost completely Source: Statista.

Even Apple, which resisted the trend, ended up agreeing with the South Korean manufacturer and now the difficult thing is to find “compact” mobiles. The reduction of frames has done the rest, and today it is rare to see phones with less than six inches of diagonal, something that seemed ridiculous a few years ago. Who’s ridiculous now, huh? HEY!?

Wait, we haven’t talked about PC monitors. Panels for PC monitors have also grown remarkably. In the early 2000s it was rare to see monitors larger than 20 inches, but the adoption of the 16:9 format changed everything. Monitors—offering better image quality, better resolution, and especially advanced features for gamers—began to grow everywhere, and now it’s easy to find spectacular 49-inch ultra-wide models. The advantages are obvious both to play or enjoy content and to work: the more Excel cells that fit, you know, the better.

I don’t say it. Says Apple, which more than 15 years ago charge a study to evaluate that prodigious 30-inch Apple Cinema Display of the time. According to the study, “Larger screens can deliver productivity gains of 50-65% on various specific office tasks and can pay for themselves in time savings over several years.”

The thing goes further, because there are also those who use televisions as monitors, and several manufacturers signed up for the BFGD format (Big Format Gaming Displays) with 55 and 65-inch models, which seem exaggerated considering the distance at which we work in they. For some that doesn’t matter. More cells fit.

Can our screens grow much larger? The truth is that this enormous evolution in the size of our screens is now perhaps reaching its limits. Not because they can’t, but because there really are practical limits. Our houses are not prepared for 100-inch televisions and it seems that it will be difficult to see mobiles above seven inches for the simple reason that they will no longer fit in our pockets. PC monitors do have more leeway here, but again that distance at which we drive them may slow down or at least slow down the size of these peripherals.

Tamanyo mobiles

But of course, we could have said the same thing years ago. Houses can end up making room — long live the reforms — for giant screens, and in mobile phones it is clear that folding ones offer a solution for those who want to carry a mobile phone that turns into a tablet when they need it. You know: the 3.5-inch screen of that iPhone seemed glorious in 2007, and now it seems like a toy. Who knows if the 6.5-inch screens that we use today will also seem like toys in 15 years. We will have to revisit this topic by then.

Image | DailyInfographic

In 1997 the average size of LCD panel TVs in the US was 22 inches. PC monitors barely reached 19…

In 1997 the average size of LCD panel TVs in the US was 22 inches. PC monitors barely reached 19…

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