Newsflash: The ‘S’ in 4S Doesn’t Stand for Specs

I read an article in The Brunei Times today entitled “The iPhone 4S is not Super, Sexy, Superb nor Smart”. And the one theme that jumped out is the focus on specs.

The article starts by saying the 4S sold one million in the first 24 hours because Apple is “finally coming to the dual core game, 10 months late.” Wait, so people are snapping up the 4S because Apple put in a dual-core chip? Specs! Specs, specs, specs. The article is even preceded by a table comparing the 4S with other smartphones like the HTC Sensation, Samsung Galaxy S II and the Motorola Atrix.

I could write an entire essay alone on why that article entirely misses the mark. I could go on and on about how when it comes to usability and experience, the specs are only a fraction of the bigger picture. I could also debate why the other phones compared in that article probably won’t be as popular or sell nearly as much as the 4S. But the important thing to note here is that the opinions in that article are not even based on hands-on experience with the 4S, since it’s not even in Brunei yet. And that hands-on experience is the crucial point.

I think Peter Sichel says it best:

But it goes deeper than this. Many reviewers don’t even realize what the product is. They still believe the iPhone or iPad is mostly a hardware product defined by its specifications. Apple has invested 10 times more R&D resources to create the iOS software and supporting eco system than its hardware. Apple didn’t design the hardware to match some feature checklist, they designed it to make their software amaze and delight customers, to create an emotional connection that effects peoples lives. To compare the iPhone or iPad to other products primarily on their hardware specifications is not representative of the quality of experience users are likely to have with the product.


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