iPhone 5: Proving once again that specs don't matter to most buyers

The reaction of tech pundits to the iPhone 5 ranged from "evolutionary" to "disappointing". The record-breaking sales in the first 24 hours proves once again that features, not hardware specs matter to most buyers.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor


iPhone 5 landscape

I called it correctly after the iPhone 5 press event last week that pundits would be panning the newest member of the iPhone family. The press reaction was as I expected, that the iPhone 5 was disappointing and just an evolutionary bump in the technology. In spite of the reaction in the press, Apple sold 2 million iPhone 5s in the first 24 hours, proving yet again that hardware specs don't sell phones to the masses.

"The new iPhone is not a radical improvement. The iPhone 5 is more of the same. Apple missed the boat with the small changes in the iPhone. Those are valid observations but had Apple radically changed the iPhone it would have bordered on irresponsibility in this writer's opinion."

Tech-savvy buyers aside, the average buyer in the street is looking for features and functionality in his/her mobile gear. They want to do things, not brag about speed/memory/graphics. Apple understands this better than any other company in the mobile space.

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Are there phones available with better hardware components than the iPhone 5? Of course there are. In years past the primary customer base of early adopters would be all over those superbly equipped phones. The rise of Android with its myriad of well-equipped handsets is largely due to those savvy buyers.

Those are not the target market of the iPhone. Apple understood early on with the iPod that the mainstream consumer market was the giant piece of the pie worth claiming. Every iteration of the iPod and now the iPhone is aimed squarely at that crowd. It is millions, perhaps billions strong, and the one worth going after for huge sales numbers.

So Apple is taking this "disappointing" new iPhone and selling it as fast as it can make them. Business as usual for the company, in other words.

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