Daringfireball's John Gruber quoting Josh Topolsky from here: http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/03/editorial-its-apples-post-pc-world-were-all-just-living/ Some highlights: This week, Apple stepped into the "post-PC" era of computing -- and there's no looking back, at least not for the folks in Cupertino. By joining the company's ongoing vision of a "different" kind of computing with a soundbite friendly piece of marketing-speak, Apple has changed the rules of the game, and made the competition's efforts not just an uphill battle, but -- at least in the eyes of Steve Jobs and co. -- essentially moot. But what exactly is the "post-PC" world? And why is it significant? Let me explain. In this new world, Apple no longer has to compete on specs and features, nor does it want to. There is no Mac vs. PC here -- only "the future" versus "the past." It won't be a debate about displays, memory, wireless options -- it will be a debate about the quality of the experience. Apple is not just eschewing the spec conversation in favor of a different conversation -- it's rendering those former conversations useless. It would be like trying to compare a race car to a deeply satisfying book. In a post-PC world, the experience of the product is central and significant above all else. It's not the RAM or CPU speed, screen resolution or number of ports which dictate whether a product is valuable; it becomes purely about the experience of using the device. What that means is that while Motorola and Verizon will spend millions of dollars advertising the Xoom's 4G upgrade options, CPU speed, and high-resolution cameras, Apple need only delight consumers and tell them that specs and and speed are the domain of a dinosaur called the PC. Apple isn't claiming victory in the Space Race -- it's ceding space to the competition. But guess who gets Earth all to itself? Apple's not saying that it beats other tablets on the market. It's saying "we do one thing, and these guys do something else altogether." They're not competition -- they're not even playing the same game! That's not to say Apple has given up on PCs, and in fact, the company's laptop sales are consistently exceeding expectations. But take a look at what's creeping around the corner. There's Lion, with its iOS-like interface, its simplified experience. If Apple has its way, and if the sales of its mobile devices carry on in the manner they have up until now, a post-PC outlook will even fit devices that look alarmingly like... PCs. But right now -- in the tablet space at least -- the problem for Motorola, Samsung, HP, RIM, and anyone else who is challenging Apple becomes infinitely more difficult. Almost any company could put together a more powerful or spec-heavy tablet, but all the horsepower in the world can't help you if you don't find a way to delight the average consumer. Those other tablet makers may have superior hardware (and in the case of the Xoom, some superior software as well), but without that key component of sheer delight, the road for them is long and hard. HP is getting close by touting features like Touch-to-Share, but against experiences like the new GarageBand for iOS and the 65,000 apps (and counting) that currently exist, it's hard to see a clear path to sizable competition. That goes for Google and RIM as well. Notice that Topolsky talks about how Apple "delights" the consumer. This is key, and it's characteristic of the way the market is moving - a way in which Apple has moved for years now, but which seems to be something entirely new for the spec/numbers obsessed competition. Apple has indeed changed the entire conversation, and you're either speaking the same language, or . . . you're not Apple - which can be a problem. Now on to Gruber's take on Topolsky's comments - which mirrors my own thoughts exactly. http://daringfireball.net/ Apple’s ‘Post-PC’ World ★ Josh Topolsky: It won’t be a debate about displays, memory, wireless options — it will be a debate about the quality of the experience. Apple is not just eschewing the spec conversation in favor of a different conversation — it’s rendering those former conversations useless. It would be like trying to compare a race car to a deeply satisfying book. In a post-PC world, the experience of the product is central and significant above all else. It’s not the RAM or CPU speed, screen resolution or number of ports which dictate whether a product is valuable; it becomes purely about the experience of using the device. Gruber: The thing is, for some of us, it’s always been this way. That’s why we stuck with the Mac during the stretches where Intel CPUs were faster and cheaper. What the iPad changes is that it takes things even further in this experience-first/specs-second mindset. Spec-wise — CPU speed, RAM, storage, expandability, pixel-count — the iPad pales compared to a MacBook. But experience-wise, it’s better. The iPad is slower, but feels faster. Exactly. It's all about synergy between hardware and software. if there is none, then specs don't matter. Numbers are unintelligible. They won't translate into anything. Rather, it's about the User Experience. How to delight the consumer. We're undergoing a paradigm shift. It's probably the most significant shift since the introduction of the home PC. Again, Apple is the one leading us into it. Almost entirely on their own, with everyone else following. The nice thing is, for all of us Apple users who were a bit lost and confused and worried in the mid-90's, the ballgame is completely different now. What Apple has always aspired to with the Macintosh has evolved into not only what was always intended but never quite achieved, but into something that was never really expected.