It occurred to me recently that Apple is successfully reframing the market so their competitors look like they’re bringing specs to an experience fight. From hammering “post PC” in their iPad 2 introduction to the time spent on GarageBand and iMovie, Apple was clearly trying to not only raise expectations for what mobile devices should look and work like, but how they should be considered. They’re a feeling, an interaction, a smile, a riff, a clip. They’re jazz.
2x faster, 9x better graphics, thinner, lighter. Apple said that much but beyond dual core and Apple A5 we didn’t get the name of the CPU or GPU, much less how much RAM was wrapped around them. Contrast this to the Tegra-touting, Qualcomm-carrying on competition and they’re pretty much having two different conversations at this point.
It’s safe to say everyone is beginning to understand the velocity of tablets but so far only Apple has proven to understand the direction. That may soon change but until it does, checkboxes won’t be sufficient to differentiate from or compete with the feeling of using an iPad. At least not for the tens of millions of consumers that make up the mainstream.