About 15 years ago, when I first started buying computers, specs meant everything. Processor speed, amount of RAM, size of the hard drive; all were important product markers and differentiators. Similarly, when our dads went out to purchase a new car 20 or 30 years back, available horsepower was important.
Today, I have no idea how fast the processor inside my iPad is. I think it comes with 1GB of Ram, but I might well be mistaken. I simply don’t care enough to look it up. The experience the product provides is far more important to me than knowing what happens underneath the hood. I also haven’t got a clue how much power my car produces, or how fast our washer’s spin circle is or what kind of processor powers our TV. All I know is that they work to my satisfaction.
Amazon’s recent entry into the tablet market, the Fire, is under-specced when compared to its main competitor, the B&H Nook. Yet every single reviewer rates the user experience of the Fire higher, in part because Amazon, like Apple has done with Siri, decided to take some of the heavy lifting away from the device and perform it in the cloud instead. Doing so allowed them to create a superior user experience with lower-specced, read cheaper to produce, hardware.
The spec war is over. The human experience war, started by Apple, has just began.