This is not a joke. Samsung (SSNLF.PK) is bringing out the big guns against Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), unveiling on Thursday the biggest smartphone to date — the Galaxy Mega — which features a massive 6.3-inch screen. For comparison, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has a Kindle Fire tablet only slightly larger than that with a 7-inch screen.
Samsung says the size makes the smartphone ideal for watching videos or running two apps alongside each other — less ideal for carrying in one’s pocket, though, or even a small purse.
The Galaxy Mega falls in the so-called “phablet” category Samsung helped popularize with its original 5.3-inch Galaxy Note in 2011. A phablet is essentially a small tablet with the functionality of a phone.
Impractically large, the phablet shocked many in its success. But it seems the trend of shrinking down mobile devices has reversed. Even Apple has increased the size of its iPhone in order to accommodate a longer-lasting battery and have a bigger screen (though Apple’s larger iPhone is small in comparison to Samsung’s, with a 4-inch screen). With gaming and video-watching become such popular activities on smartphones — perhaps more popular than actual calls — larger screens have become assets to phone makers, in spite of their drawbacks…