“Glance at any major smartphone line, and you’ll find a similar pattern: Screen sizes are getting bigger, year after year, model after model,” Ben Taylor reports for PCWorld. “Even Apple—which once described its 4-inch iPhone’s screen as a ‘dazzling display of common sense’ — appears poised to follow its rivals… rumors are leaning toward the introduction of a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 later this year.”

“To determine the breadth of the trend, I calculated the correlation between release date and screen size for over a thousand phones,” Taylor reports. “The trend goes far beyond iPhones and Galaxies. There’s a strong correlation between release date and smartphone screen size. Before 2011, nearly every phone on the market measured between 2.5 and 4 inches. Since 2013, sub-4-inch phones have nearly disappeared.”

Taylor reports, “I’ve distilled the data into five different scenarios, ordered from least to most likely.”

• Scenario #1: We’re witnessing a marketing gimmick, played out over five years
• Scenario #2: Apple got screen size wrong
• Scenario #3: The changes are largely based on a handful of influential phones
• Scenario #4: Manufacturers have always wanted to make bigger phones—technology simply hasn’t allowed it until recently
• Scenario #5: The smartphone is turning into our primary computer

Read more in the full article here.