Laptop disk partitions - but why?

I don't get why laptop manufacturers insist on using up a large portion of the SSD/HDD for a recovery partition AND then further splitting up the remaining space in "OS" and a "data" partitions.

Many new laptops today ship with a relatively small SSD (compared to HDD sizes), on which a recovery partition takes up a significant portion. Besides wasting precious SSD space, having the recovery data on the laptop itself doesn't seem very clever. If something bad happens to the drive, chances are that this recovery partition won't be accessible anyway. Computers used to ship with recovery CD/DVDs. Obviously this is not a great solution for laptops without CD/DVD drives, but then why not just include the recovery data on a small read-only USB thumb drive / SD card (very cheap), or make it available for download?

I realize that the question of splitting a hard disk ("OS" / "data" partitions) or not (single partition) is almost religious for some people. But with these smaller SSD drives, partitioning them really just increases the risk of running out of space faster.

I just got a new laptop on which the disk was split into an "OS" partition, then a "recovery" partition, and finally a "data" partition - in that order. Personally, I prefer one big partition. To achieve that, I had no choice but to delete the "recovery" partition (since it was sitting in the middle of the disk). Jeez! It would have been a lot easier, and I might actually have kept the "recovery" partition, if at least they had placed it at the end of the drive.

PS: Otherwise I love my new laptop