Mobile phone sizes
Mobile phones have changed a lot since they exploded in popularity in the 2000s. I thought it would be interesting to graph how the sizes of mobile phones have changed over the years. I'm dealing here only with the most desirable and advanced phones people were buying at the time, rather than cheap functional ones.
Here's the result. The blue line is the biggest phone, the orange the smallest, measured by the front area of the phone.
You can see that to 2004 there was wide variation as the manufacturers competed to make the smallest phones and also to make big crazy things like the n-gage. Things seem to then settle down with a range of smaller phones like the Sony Ericsson W800 up to bigger phones like the Nokia e61.
Then in iPhone appeared in 2007 and started a big change. Suddenly everything needed a big screen and the biggest size of phone increased dramatically until we reach huge "phablets" like the Samsung Galaxy Note. The requirement for a big touch screen meant that smaller phones were less viable and in 2012 the smallest popular phone is larger than the biggest phone in 1999.
Interestingly the thickness of phones (often used as a selling point) has continued to decrease fairly steadily, although the variation now is much smaller suggesting we are about as thin as we can go.
Since the front area has been increasing you would expect the overall volume of the phones to have also increased. Surprisingly the decreasing thickness means that it has actually stayed pretty constant. This graph also shows again the more varied range of phone sizes you could get up till around 2004.
It's interesting to note the drop in variation in the size of mobile phones since about 2004. There was a lot of experimentation going on until that time, which then matured into just a few shapes of phone. Post iphone, the variations seem to be fixed at an iPhone shape of gradually bigger size.
What will come next?
Here's the data I used for the graphs in case anyone has a use for it
year,mobile,width,height,depth,weight,area,surface,volume 1999,nokia 3210,12.38,5.05,1.67,151,62.519,120.7352,104.40673 1999,nokia 8850,10,4.4,1.7,91,44,92.96,74.8 1999,nokia 8210,10.15,4.45,1.74,79,45.1675,95.9755,78.59145 1999,Nokia 7110,12.5,5.3,2.4,141,66.25,151.69,159 1999,Nokia 5210,10.55,4.75,2.25,92,50.1125,118.9625,112.753125 2000,nokia 3310,11.3,4.8,2.2,133,54.24,125.08,119.328 2000,Ericsson R380,13,5,2.6,164,65,158.6,169 2000,Ericsson R320,13,5.1,1.5,99,66.3,120.6,99.45 2001,Nokia 5510,13.4,5.8,2.8,155,77.72,185.24,217.616 2001,Nokia 8310,9.7,4.3,1.9,84,41.71,94.91,79.249 2001,Ericsson T39,9.6,5,1.8,86,48,100.56,86.4 2001,Ericsson T66,9.2,4.1,1.75,59,37.72,84.27,66.01 2001,Ericsson T68,10.1,4.8,1.95,84,48.48,106.59,94.536 2001,Nokia 3510,11.8,5,2.1,105,59,129.56,123.9 2002,nokia 6100,10.2,4.4,1.35,76,44.88,84.3,60.588 2002,nokia 7650,11.4,5.6,2.6,154,63.84,152.24,165.984 2002,Sony Ericsson P800,11.7,5.9,2.7,158,69.03,164.07,186.381 2002,Nokia 6310i,12.9,4.7,1.9,111,60.63,127.51,115.197 2003,nokia 3100,10.2,4.3,1.52,99,43.86,87.94,66.6672 2003,Nokia 1100,10.6,4.6,2,86,48.76,109.56,97.52 2003,samsung s300,8,4,2,70,32,80,64 2003,motorola c200,10.5,4.4,2,84,46.2,105.8,92.4 2003,nokia 6600,10.9,5.8,2.4,122,63.22,143.38,151.728 2003,nokia ngage,13.4,7,2,137,93.8,175.4,187.6 2003,PalmOne Treo 600,11.2,6,2.2,168,67.2,142.88,147.84 2004,motorola razr,9.8,5.3,1.39,95,51.94,93.918,72.1966 2004,LG U8120,9.6,5,2.3,126,48,115.16,110.4 2004,sony k700,9.9,4.6,1.9,93,45.54,100.64,86.526 2004,nokia 9500,14.8,5.7,2.4,230,84.36,182.76,202.464 2004,Sony Ericsson P910,11.5,5.8,2.6,150,66.7,156.66,173.42 2004,Nokia 7610,10.9,5.3,1.9,118,57.77,119.33,109.763 2004,Nokia 6630,11,6,2.1,127,66,137.4,138.6 2004,nokia 6230,10.3,4.4,2,97,45.32,104.12,90.64 2005,Nokia 6680,10.86,5.52,2.05,133,59.9472,127.1052,122.89176 2005,sony w800,10,4.6,2.05,99,46,105.86,94.3 2005,motorola razr,9.8,5.3,1.39,95,51.94,93.918,72.1966 2005,nokia e61,11.7,6.97,1.4,144,81.549,133.825,114.1686 2005,nokia n70,10.88,5.3,2.18,126,57.664,128.2088,125.70752 2006,nokia n73,11,4.9,1.9,116,53.9,114.32,102.41 2006,BlackBerry Pearl,10.7,5,1.45,89.5,53.5,99.03,77.575 2006,HTC TyTN 100,11.3,5.8,2.2,176,65.54,140.78,144.188 2006,Sony Ericsson W810i,10,4.6,1.95,99,46,102.94,89.7 2006,Sony Ericsson K800i,10.5,4.7,2.2,115,49.35,116.23,108.57 2006,LG Chocolate KG800,9.5,4.8,1.52,83,45.6,89.072,69.312 2006,samsung d900,10.35,5.1,1.29,85,52.785,92.646,68.09265 2006,blackberry 8700,11,6.95,1.95,134,76.45,146.455,149.0775 2006,nokia e62,11.7,6.97,1.4,144,81.549,133.825,114.1686 2006,nokia n95,9.9,5.3,2.1,120,52.47,116.31,110.187 2007,LG Prada KE850,9.88,5.4,1.2,85,53.352,90.024,64.0224 2007,Sony Ericsson W880i,10.3,4.65,0.95,71,47.895,76.3,45.50025 2007,Samsung D840,9.9,5.1,1.19,100,50.49,86.19,60.0831 2007,Sony Ericsson P1i,10.6,5.5,1.7,124,58.3,113.04,99.11 2007,nokia n95,9.9,5.3,2.1,120,52.47,116.31,110.187 2007,apple iphone,11.5,6.1,1.16,135,70.15,110.982,81.374 2007,Motorola RAZR2 V9,10.3,5.3,1.33,125,54.59,96.086,72.6047 2007,nokia e90,13.2,5.7,2,210,75.24,150.84,150.48 2008,htc G1,11.77,5.57,1.71,158,65.5589,124.8617,112.105719 2008,nokia e71,11.4,5.7,1,127,64.98,99.18,64.98 2008,apple iphone 3g,11.55,6.21,1.23,133,71.7255,115.4151,88.222365 2008,htc touch hd,11.5,6.28,1.2,146,72.22,114.892,86.664 2008,blackberry curve,10.7,6,1.55,111,64.2,115.97,99.51 2008,blackberry bold 9000,11.4,6.6,1.4,133,75.24,125.64,105.336 2008,nokia n96,10.3,5.5,1.8,125,56.65,113.53,101.97 2008,nokia 5800,11.1,5.17,1.55,109,57.387,107.824,88.94985 2009,htc hd2,12.05,6.7,1.1,157,80.735,121.985,88.8085 2009,htc hero,11.2,5.62,1.44,135,62.944,111.3856,90.63936 2009,apple iphone 3gs,11.55,6.21,1.23,135,71.7255,115.4151,88.222365 2009,BlackBerry Curve 8900,10.9,6,1.35,110,65.4,111.03,88.29 2009,nokia n900,11.09,5.98,1.8,180,66.3182,127.7702,119.37276 2009,palm pre,10.05,5.95,1.69,133,59.7975,113.8775,101.057775 2009,motorola milestone,11.58,6,1.37,165,69.48,117.6492,95.1876 2009,Nokia N79,11,4.9,1.5,97,53.9,101.6,80.85 2009,Nokia E71,11.4,5.7,1,127,64.98,99.18,64.98 2009,nokia n97,11.72,5.53,1.59,150,64.8116,119.6666,103.050444 2010,htd desire hd,12.3,6.8,1.18,164,83.64,128.716,98.6952 2010,iphone 4,11.52,5.86,0.93,137,67.5072,99.834,62.781696 2010,htc G1,11.9,5.98,1.15,130,71.162,112.286,81.8363 2010,nokia 5230,11.1,5.17,1.55,115,57.387,107.824,88.94985 2010,nokia n8,11.35,5.91,1.29,135,67.0785,111.6093,86.531265 2010,samsung galaxy s,12.24,6.42,0.99,119,78.5808,115.5276,77.794992 2010,blackbery torch,11.1,6.2,1.46,161,68.82,119.336,100.4772 2010,Xperia X10 Mini Pro,9,5.2,1.7,120,46.8,95.08,79.56 2011,iphone 4,11.52,5.86,0.93,137,67.5072,99.834,62.781696 2011,LG optimus 2x,12.39,6.32,1.09,139,78.3048,119.0926,85.352232 2011,htc evo 3d,12.6,6.5,1.21,170,81.9,128.122,99.099 2011,sony experia play,11.9,6.2,1.6,175,73.78,131.7,118.048 2011,samsung nexus s,12.39,6.3,1.09,129,78.057,118.8012,85.08213 2011,hp pre 3,11.1,6.4,1.6,156,71.04,127.04,113.664 2011,galaxy note,14.69,8.3,0.97,178,121.927,166.5276,118.26919 2011,galaxy s 2,12.53,6.61,0.85,116,82.8233,115.3613,70.399805 2012,iphone 5,12.38,5.86,0.76,112,72.5468,100.2716,55.135568 2012,LG nexus 4,13.39,6.87,0.91,139,91.9893,128.8625,83.710263 2012,nokia lumia 920,13.03,7.08,1.07,185,92.2524,135.2878,98.710068 2012,htc one x,13.44,6.99,0.89,130,93.9456,130.311,83.611584 2012,galaxy note 2,15.11,8.05,0.94,183,121.6355,165.1763,114.33737 2012,galaxy s 3,13.66,7.06,0.86,133,96.4396,132.078,82.938056