Phablets, a demonstration of how a consumer market works.
With the announcement of the Galaxy Note 3, the release of the Galaxy Mega, and rumors of a Nokia Phablet, there is tons of buzz whirling around about screen sizes and how stupid/awesome they are/aren't. It makes me think back to Sam Biddle's (Gizmodo) ridiculously hyperbolic rant about the OG Note, which is worth a chuckle and a facepalm or two if you have a few minutes to read it.
My problems with all of this large phone hate are twofold:
1. Freedom of choice is never a bad thing. Another person's choice in smartphone does not affect you.
Lets say you and your neighbor are both in the market for a new lawn mower. You have a relatively small lawn, as much of your yard is covered in trees and bushes. Your neighbor on the other hand has a massive lawn, and not much else. Cool. So you both come home from the hardware store, you with your smaller push model, and him on a big ride-along beast. Is your neighbor stupid for buying such a big, space hogging mower? No, he just has different needs than you. Does his choice affect your life in any way? Nope. Sure doesn't
Now apply this simple logic to the smartphone market:
Let's say you and your neighbor are both in the market for a new smartphone. You're an active person who hikes a lot and is always on the go. Your jeans typically have relatively small pockets, and you don't really need to spend much time staring at your phone other than emails for work, quick browsing, or using GPS. Your neighbor on the other hand is a marketing rep for a growing business, and is constantly taking long flights and gets his exercise at various gyms across the country while traveling. Cool.
So you both come home from the carrier store, you with your iPhone 5, and your neighbor with a big Note 3. Is your neighbor stupid for buying such a large screened phone that is great for watching movies on while on a plane or on the treadmill? No, he just has different needs than you. Does his choice affect your life in any way? Nope. Sure doesn't.
This is why we have a choice. Different people. Different needs.
2. If a product sells well, there will be more like it -- if it sells poorly, there will (usually) not. This is how an open market works.
I see tons of comments telling Samsung and Nokia that they should stop making these devices. Why should they? What is the number one goal of any company anywhere? To make money. So why would they shy away from a section of the market that has demand for a certain product? Actively ignoring new markets based on ill-conceived bias is exactly how innovation stagnates.
This whole argument reminds me of when Apple announced the iPad. Comment sections were flooded with people who just plain hated the idea, and hated anyone who wanted one. First off, you'll notice how few of those people are still out there hating the idea of tablets, but also that we tend to vehemently deny anything that we don't immediately see a use for -- even if someone else does. I'll admit, I was one of those who thought the iPad was stupid, and wondered why I wouldn't just use a laptop or my desktop if at home. But here I am, having purchased several tablets over the years, and using them constantly.
The same thing is happening with large phones, and while right now I don't see myself buying a 6" beast of a device, my mind may change very quickly once I have a chance to try one out.
Now, one valid concern is that the market seems to be trending towards only offering high end devices in these large sizes, which do not work for everyone. This may well be the result of people continually buying larger phones over smaller ones, but there is still a market for people who want a 3.5"-4" device with high end specs. So far, their only option has been Apple, but who knows, Apple may trend towards larger and larger phones as well.
In this way, other people's choices do effect your life. It's the same reason why it's so hard to get a new car with a manual transmission these days. Most people want an auto, but there is still a small market for those who want to row their own gears. Still, there is still no reason to hate on someone else because they have different needs than you. I have no reason to go around belittling people who bought an automatic just because I prefer a manual, and you have no reason to belittle someone who bought a Note when you prefer an iPhone.
You just have to remember. At the end of the day, it's them who are cramming these devices into their ostensibly huge pockets, not you. Even though I fit a Nexus 7 into all of my work pants doesn't mean it's practical for anyone else.