I once owned a CP/M-based Osborne 1 with 64kb of RAM, an IBM PC that I loaded up to 640kb RAM, an early Mac which shipped with 512kb RAM, and a hard disk drive– 5MB– was something only businesses could afford. Specifications were a fun way to compare and contrast products.
Apple killed specifications.
Size? Doesn’t Matter.
There is no way to tell exactly when the war against specifications began, but I suspect Steve Jobs started it. We once compared RAM, hard disk drive space, and CPU speeds– remember Megahertz? Powerful computers meant powerful lists of specifications. Those days are gone.
What’s the clock speed of your iPhone’s CPU? Somebody knows. Most of us have no idea about the display’s refresh rate, either. Today’s iPhones are differentiated by storage capacity, display type, and the number of cameras.
Check out the Tech Specs on the MacBook Air? What’s on top?
Color, Price, Display details, and Touch ID all come before Processor and Storage. The Mac still has more bullet point specifications than an iPhone or iPad. Quick. Can you name your Mac’s screen resolution? Or the Intel Inside clock speed? How fast are those SSDs in your Mac?
We know the MacBook Air comes with stereo speakers, three microphones, and it still has a headphone jack, but how fast is Wi-Fi? Why does it still have Bluetooth 4 instead of Bluetooth 5? Ha! Gotcha! Most people have no idea which version of Bluetooth their Mac, iPhone, or iPad has.
I know. I had to look, too.
Apple’s success in the past couple of decades has negated the need to compare specification bullet points and most of us don’t really know the differences on the same bullet points but between devices. For example, I did not realize the MacBook Air has an LED-backlit display. The iMac Pro has a Retina 5K display. LED? LCD? Who cares?
Notice the lengthy list of specifications for an iMac Pro vs. a vanilla iMac? The few members left in the professional community still care about such details. The rest of us? Meh.
Very few of us with a lengthy technology gadget background compare notes on specifications anymore. The fact that someone’s PC is faster than my Mac matters not because we don’t care or don’t focus on such trivialities these days as long as the device– Mac, iPhone, iPad– get the job done.
Specifications are mostly dead and we have Apple to thank for it.
UPDATE: What about iPhone pixel count? Apple got sued because the Notch takes up valuable pixels, so some iPhone customers complained they were not getting the pixel count that Apple promised. The Notch isn’t exactly a part of screen real estate, right? The judge presiding over the case had this to say about pixel count:
There doesn’t really seem to be anyone in America who seems concerned about it
Specifications are reaching that kind of territory.