Gimmick? Yes. Market? Maybe, but only to people who don't think through unintended consequences before buying something. For those of us who can think of all the potential problems this design causes... I think we can already see why we should avoid it like the plague (or Ebola to be more modern).
As a Note II owner, I am okay with large screens, but I can tell from first hand experience, they break easily, even in a case. I ended up having to put an Otter Box Commuter on mine after the insurance replacement arrived. Otter Box is going to have a hard time making a case fit this thing.
it they can organize a UI using that edge view, (e.g., mail counter, sms counter, quick look indicators) that would make it 'useful/desired'
but right now it is like a solution looking for a problem.
That seems like a useful design feature for the notification addicted among us. The video from the post shows the different screens that you can have on the edge. I liked the scrolling weather bar but, I like weather information.
Of course it's a gimmick. But you also have to understand that "gimmick" doesn't have to mean bad.
I'm personally glad they release this phone alongside a more traditional design, gives people a chance to see if it's something that they would like to use. If this sells well, and the feedback is good, guaranteed there will be more like it in the future.
That's the thing, look at Youm. A prototype to show off is all well and good, but it needs to be given to the masses to test and creatively break before it can really be called good or bad.