Monday, September 12, 2016

Competing with the iPhone’s specs is harder than it seems

It’s a common fallacy, convenient to Apple, to think that the iPhone maker doesn’t care about specs. Oh, they’re too busy sticking cigarette stubs into people’s ears, those Cupertino types, to mind the nerdy feeds and speeds of their phones. The iPhone is behind the Android curve on almost every spec, and yet it remains the world’s best-selling smartphone year after year. It’s not because specs don’t matter, but because the same spec means different things in the iOS and Android ecosystems.

A small matter of scalar asymmetry

Take the iPhone’s battery as the cardinal example. At IFA 2016, I watched Huawei advertise its new Nova phones by noting they have almost double the iPhone 6S’ 1,715mAh battery capacity. This is the typical...

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