Smartphones have outgrown the average pants pocket, designer say - FOX 32 News Chicago

Smartphones have outgrown the average pants pocket, designer says

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They're too big for YOUR britches.

Like flat screens and french fries before them, smartphones have been supersized, swelling in length and girth as more Americans use them to surf the web and send emails.

The Samsung Galaxy S from 2010 was 2.53 inches wide and 4.82 inches tall; the newly announced 2013 edition is 2.83 by 5.5 -- too big for the average pair of American khakis, said Doug Conklyn, senior vice president of global design for Dockers.

"We recently increased the size of our ‘coin pocket,' which is the pocket-within-the-pocket on the wearer's right, from 3x3 to 4x4 to accommodate today's larger phones," Conklyn told

"We have an amazing technical design team at Dockers that takes the time to ensure that the latest phones fit in our pockets," he said.

A standard pants pocket is around 13 inches deep, Conklyn said. And with phones growing quickly to fill that space, designers are keeping a wary eye open.

"We don't have fit sessions without having a smartphone on hand or an iPhone to make sure that the pockets are all designed to be perfectly functional," said Simon Kneen, creative director and executive vice president of design for Banana Republic.

Kneen carries two phones, an iPhone 4 and a 4S -- usually in his rear pants pocket, a bag or his sportcoat. "Chest pockets you can get a lot into," Kneen told Still, Banana Republic hasn't had to work around the size of the smartphone just yet.

"We've been designing around technology [for years]," he said. "We don't think we're behind the curve at all on this."

Just wait for the next crop, however.

The gargantuan Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3, unveiled April 11, has a body 6.6 inches long. Chinese company Huawei announced an enormous phone called the Ascend Mate in January that's 6.44 inches.

Oddball beasts aside, the leading phones from top manufacturers today are already seam-stretchers: The Galaxy S4, to be unleashed on unassuming pockets at the end of the month, measures 5.38 inches from tip to toe. HTC's First (that's the "Facebook phone" to you and me) is 4.96 inches tall, while the iPhone 5 is 4.87 inches.

And that's just phones. The "phablet" market -- the merger of tablets and smartphones into enormous, wildly popular hybrids -- are bigger giants. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is 5.78 inches tall, for example. And the LG Intuition is 5.5 inches long and 3.56 inches wide -- try squeezing that in your pocket.

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