The end of the spec wars

MG Siegler has a good post on how specs aren’t how normal people buy computers and devices anymore:

On paper, the Nook Tablet is the Android-based reading tablet to buy. It has twice the RAM of the Kindle Fire, twice the built-in storage space, a better battery, and it’s lighter to boot. Yes, it’s $50 more expensive, but come on, the RAM difference alone is worth well more than that. Clearly, this is the better value for your money.

And yet, the Nook Tablet will not outsell the Kindle Fire. That’s the thing: “on paper” doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is that the Kindle Fire comes with Amazon’s content ecosystem attached to it. Perhaps more importantly, it will be peddled like no other on the all-important homepage. The specs are secondary in this race at best. The reality is that they will be an afterthought. Or again, the Nook would win.

He’s right. The Nook Color is the better device on paper. All of us would be shocked if it could topple the Kindle Fire.

People are buying devices today based on experiences. What can a device do. Arbitrary specs only work when you’re comparing two almost identical system (i.e. two Windows machines). How do you compare specs across different OSes and platforms? How do you even make sense of all of the different systems inside smartphones and tablets today (how do you compare the speeds of a Tegra 2 to a A5 chip?)?

You don’t look at specs when buying a phone. You see how smooth navigating the device is. You see how pretty and fun games are. You see how you can switch between apps. The feel of a device and how the device compliments your day is what matters.

This is the sign of a maturing market.