Thanks to yellow journalism being alive and well in the digital age, traditional media knows that conflict sells papers; or, rather, sells ads to eyeballs; the more of both, the better. That’s why today’s product comparisons are from the dark ages.
Déjà vu All Over Again
In modern technology, the war for the ages was Apple’s Mac vs. Windows PCs. That conflict was not really a conflict. It was faux conflict trumped up by media.
After all, the Mac is a personal computer, while Windows is an operating system. A similar comparison war goes on between Android and iPhone. See?
Android, like Windows is a mobile device operating system, while iPhone, like the Mac, is a hardware computing device. Why are they being compared at all. Conflict.
ZDNet ran a wonderful list of the Best 10 Smartphones for the 2014 Holiday Buying Season.
The 10 smartphones on the list are the usual suspects from Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Sony, LG, Motorola, and HTC. Apple and Samsung’s various devices make up about 95-percent of the marketplace in the U.S., so why even bother with the others?
The conflict in compare and contrast is a time honored technique that pits one product against another, one politician against another, one party against another. As both Pulitzer and Hearst discovered in the century before last, conflict sells.
Think about it for a moment. When we use our Macs or PCs, our smartphones and tablets, what do we use? Apps. The hardware is just there to make a place for the applications to do their deeds.
Why is there so much comparison of hardware instead of software and usage in these made up wars? Because hardware is made of hard numbers. Software usability and usage is subjective. Subjective issues don’t sell. Conflict sells. Simply put, comparing the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus to Samsung’s latest, or HTC, or Motorola, or whatever is an exercise from the dark ages of technology.