Simply put, hardware specs don’t matter much these days. Oh, sure, tech reviewers still compare and contrast because numbers are easy, while comparing an operating system or an app’s benefits is more subjective. Let’s face it. Specifications are nearly dead.
Blame It On Apple
For more than few decades hardware specifications were the single most important way to differentiate various PCs from one another, or Macs from PCs.
As personal computers proliferated among the masses, megahertz became gigahertz, megabytes became gigabytes, and CPUs went from millions to billions of transistors. Bigger and faster was better, right?
Apple played the game, too, insisting that PowerPC RISC CPUs were better than Intel Inside CISC cpus. Then along came the iPod and people started to not care what was inside. Blame Apple.
Apple didn’t bother to tell us much about what was going on inside an iPod other than storage capacity. iPods came in bright colors and, well, they just worked with everything.
A few years later Apple moved the Mac onto Intel’s CPUs and did a blitzkrieg to the premium end of the PC market. Not long after that the iPhone came to life and changed the smartphone industry forever.
What about iPhone specifications? Who cares? Apple doesn’t bother to say much other than each new model had an A-something or other CPU that was faster and had graphics that was better than last year’s model. iPhones and then iPads became available in varying colors, differentiated more by storage capacity than anything else.
Members of the technorati elite continue to compare and contrast hardware where they can, but Apple doesn’t play that game as often. An 8-megapixel camera? Harumph! Those are available in blister packs at the Walmart checkout. But Apple’s 8-megapixel iPhone camera was special and took better pictures than almost anything on the downside of an mid-range DSLR. Specifications didn’t matter. Photos did.
Apple mostly destroyed screen pixel counts with the Retina displays. Once a screen reaches Retina levels how many pixels it really, truly has doesn’t matter much to the customer. Today, when people talk about which iPhone or iPad they plan to get or have already, the topic is color first, storage second, and then conversation is dominated by apps.
Hardware specifications? Apple will list technical specifications on a single website page for those who need such triviality. Check out how many clicks it takes to find specifications, and then note which ones Apple deems important.
Most customers just don’t care, even though many of the technorati elite and market pundits make their living comparing and contrasting hardware features and options, most of the rest of us just want the device to work well, stay secure, and be there when we need it for a call, text, a photo, music, movie or whatever else we’ve packed into the device that isn’t as easily compared as things were in the PC world back in the 1990s.
You can thank Apple for that. The iPod started it all.