Based on my adventures with taobao I've looked at pictures of more yixing teapots than anyone
should. And when doing this you can't help but notice what is popular and what isn't. As I mentioned in another post the most popular sizes are 150-300ml. (And that seems aimed are groups of people drinking tea together. Less common in the west... FOR NOW
But what about teapot shapes? Is it the classic shuiping hu that dominates? No way! It's xi shi, or as I like to call them "ball pots."
But why is this style so popular?
I don't know all of the reasons, but one could be functionality. I have one of these pots and it pours more smoothly than anything else I've ever poured (including very nice shuiping hu pots owned by a friend.) No shaking needed.
I don't like the look as much as the classic styles... but I find that I turn to it more and more often, the 7-hole spout never clogs and it has none of the issues some of you have pointed about about ball filters (didn't really notice those issues until, I think, teaism mentioned them)
The only draw-back is they are rare in sizes under 100ml.
Anyone know anything about these pots and their rise to popularity?