Samsung's latest flagship handset is a much better phablet than the iPhone 6 Plus, but is it a bette

It’s certainly open to debate, but I would argue that the Galaxy Note 4 is the most important flagship smartphone Samsung has ever launched. It won’t be Samsung’s fastest-selling phone and it definitely won’t ship the most units over its lifespan. The Note 4 doesn’t even necessarily break new ground like the original Galaxy Note did two years ago.

But 2014 marks the first time ever that Samsung will go up against Apple in the phablet space it helped pioneer, and whether or not Samsung’s Note 4 sales show continued growth could be a telling sign of things to come.

Samsung knows all too well how much damage the iPhone 6 Plus can potentially do to its high-end phone sales.

Note series phablets haven’t sold nearly as well as phones like the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5, of course, since the market for gigantic smartphones is much tinier than the market for smaller phones. But Note devices are high-priced phones and tablets, presumably with high margins that help Samsung’s bottom line.

So, for Samsung, the iPhone 6 Plus is a huge deal.

Samsung’s hurried launch of the Galaxy Note 4 in South Korea is hard evidence that Apple’s first phablet is scaring Samsung, as well it should. Every indication suggests that the iPhone 6 Plus is selling as quickly as Apple’s manufacturing partners can build it, and the fact that the 6 Plus launched almost a month ahead of the Note 4’s upcoming October 17th release date will cost Samsung sales, without question.

The shame of it is the Galaxy Note 4 is a fantastic phablet that builds upon last year’s model and improves it in every conceivable way. In fact, while the iPhone 6 Plus is a better all-around phone than the Galaxy Note 4, in my opinion, the Note 4 is a much better phablet than Apple’s king-sized iPhone.