Business Insider's Jay Yarow says he's already thinking about returning his iPhone 6 Plus, and after playing around with a friend's, I can see why — it makes very little sense to spend an extra $100 for a phone that you can't operate one-handed. At price-parity, maybe. But if you're going to be asked to fork over more money for something, then it ought to be clearly superior, and it's just not the case that the phablet form-factor is obviously better than a palmable smartphone.
That said, after a week with my standard-sized iPhone 6, I'm more convinced than ever that super-giant will be a huge success in the long run.
The reason is that I still use my iPad Mini quite a bit. For leisure reading, it's much more comfortable to have the larger screen and the two-handed use mode. The larger battery life is also very nice. Obviously it's easy enough to get by in life with no tablet at all (which is why tablets are much less popular than smartphones), but a tablet is a nice thing to have, and even a very good smartphone like the iPhone 6 is no replacement for one. But the 6 Plus really is. If you had a phone that big and with that large a batter life, then it would be the only device you would need. And while the 6 Plus is more expensive than the 6, it's considerably cheaper than buying a 6 and an iPad Mini.
So when I had to ask myself "6 or 6 Plus" the answer was easy — 6. After all, I already owned an iPad Mini.
But eventually, my tablet is going either break or else get sufficiently outdated that I want to think about upgrading. My guess is that when people find themselves contemplating a tablet upgrade, a lot of them are going to say to themselves, "Hey, instead of upgrading the tablet, I can just switch to the big phone when September comes around."
Of course that still leaves you with the question of how to do quick one-handed tasks on the go. The ideal thing, really, would be to pair the large phone with some kind of device that's truly optimized for quick glances. Something that's even easier to access than an item carried in your pocket. Something strapped to your wrist maybe. In other words, while last month's Apple super-fan sported a laptop, an iPad, and iPhone the company's dream customer of the future will have a laptop, an enormous phone, and an Apple Watch. And the fact that the Apple Watch looks so much classier and better than the Android smartwatches on the market is going to give Apple a whole new boost of competitive advantage, even as the playing field in phones levels.