Giant phones are finally a big deal in the US

Extra-large phones have been hot stuff in some countries for a long while, but not so much in the US. The country must have had a change of heart in the past few months, however. Kantar Worldpanel estimates that gigantic devices jumped from 6 percent of American smartphone sales in the first quarter of last year to 21 percent in early 2015. Why? If you ask Kantar, the launch of the iPhone 6 Plus was partly responsible -- it racked up 44 percent of all supersized phone sales despite being just a few months old. The analyst group isn't saying much in public how other brands were doing, although it's safe to say that category pioneer Samsung grabbed a large slice of the pie thanks to high-powered behemoths like the Galaxy Note 4.

Android still rules the roost worldwide, although there's signs that this is changing ever so slightly. Google's mobile OS was the top choice in the five biggest European countries with a 68.4 percent share, but the iPhone grew its stake by 1.8 percent. The biggest leap was in China, where Apple's gangbuster iPhone sales saw it grow from 17.9 percent of the market in early 2014 to 26.1 percent a year later. Reportedly, that's due in part to Apple courting more than just well-off buyers. While Android still dominates the budget space (35 percent of European Android buyers said price was a major factor), it doesn't have the free rein that it enjoyed in the past.

Photo by Will Lipman.