“It’s such a big thing,” said Martha Stewart to me and not in a good way one night a few weeks ago at a dinner in New York, where I was to interview her and media mogul Barry Diller onstage at a big CNBC event.
Sitting next to her, Diller had even more disdain while considering the object of his ire and my desire. “That is ridiculously large,” he said with his patented gimlet gaze.
Then again, while at the set at the New York Stock Exchange, CNBC’s Squawk Alley’s Kayla Tausche looked at me like I had placed a small land shark on the desk. Meanwhile, her co-anchor Jon Fortt just shook his head and wondered out loud why I would want to put such a giant object so near my head. “It’s bigger than your head,” he joked.
I wish this kind of thing was unusual, but it happens all the time these days: No one likes my recent marriage to an iPhone 6 Plus.
Except me — I could not be more ecstatic about the 5.5-inch screen and its lovely and enormous heft. I can definitively say it has made me happier than I have ever been in a cellular relationship.
Let’s be clear, this has been going on since the 1990s. That was when I first borrowed the Washington Post’s giant portable phone in a suitcase and feel deeply in love with it, despite the teasing I got from other reporters.
“Someday it will be small and fit in my pocket,” I would say in defense of their jibes, which is precisely what happened. Of course, by then I had started to jump one to another, in an endless series of mobile phone love affairs:
To the nifty Motorola StarTAC in 1996, which I actually stood in a very long line with Walt Mossberg to gaze briefly at in a sealed class case at the Consumer Electronics Show that year.
Then there was a long series of Nokia devices, such as the 5110, the even tinier 8210, as well as the 3210 and the 6100. I was deeply in love and wedded to Nokia for a long time, until …
The PalmOne Treo displaced it, fetching with its colorful interface and square jawed demeanor, until …
A series of BlackBerry devices, starting a simple message sender and followed by the 6210 in black and the 7210 in color. (I was actually gripping some form of BlackBerry in labor when I had my eldest son, after it got stuck there when the birth sped up while I was texting.)
There was a brief foray with Motorola again when it came out with the Razr, then back to a dalliance with the BlackBerry Pearl.
It was one cellphone after another until 2007. And then: Boom.
The Apple iPhone came out and I felt hooked for life. I hardly glanced at the Palm Pre, liked but never dated any of the handsome Windows Phones and completely ignored the too-geeky-for-me Androids, despite all their variety.
I have had every version of the iPhone since it was released, regularly changing phones like people change their socks. It has been my near constant companion since, even when I wrecked a few by dropping them in the toilet or two.
Don’t judge me, bokay?
Despite that intense devotion, I found it hard to shake a serious crush I developed last year on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, owned by Re/code editor Ken Li. It was so pretty to look at; in comparison, my iPhone 5s seemed puny and less vibrant.
Still, I stayed loyal to the brand and was relieved when Apple finally released the iPhone 6 Plus. I waited patiently in the queue to get one, finally getting the phone a month after its release. I could not have been happier when I opened the box and turned it on.
That was exactly when the razzing started from nearly everyone who saw it, especially those who had opted for the small 4.7-inch iPhone 6, sans the Plus.
Kara Swisher It does bend if you hit it enough times with a hatchback!
I had no idea it was so big. Did you have a pocket that big? It looks like a smaller mini iPad, so why’d you get it? How can you get your hand around it? How can you type with one hand? It’s not made for a normal person’s hand, is it?
And, of course, does it bend?
I found that out when I smashed it in a car hatch and mangled my just christened device to smithereens. I quickly wrapped up the damaged giant and rushed it to the Apple store in downtown San Francisco, where one of the geniuses noted: “I can’t believe how much you bent such a big thing.”
Believe it. I was soon outfitted with a replacement, which now sticks out of the back of my pocket with pride.
With all apologies to Martha Stewart, it is big thing, yes, but also a good thing.