Wasn’t this the promise of netbooks? Not good, but good enough? They were all the rage, but then kind of died out. Similar deficiencies too. You could do the same work, but sometimes it’d get really slow. And that was after 20 years of work? After 20 years, last years tech still wasn’t good enough.
Having tried watching a few trends over the past few years, it’s not always advanced tech -> mainstream -> commodity. For example, I’m not sure the automobile ever got there. 100 years later, it’s still a substantial purchase for most people.
Bay Trail seemed to bring back the category in larger sizes, IMHO
Or Chromebooks, which I overlooked, although they seem to be struggling a bit as well.
I should add I know plenty of people happy with a top of the line laptop from two years ago. Or even five years ago. But they’d be substantially less happy with a new low end laptop.
I guess it all depends.
I’m using a low end laptop (dual celeron 1.2GHz / 3GB RAM) from 4y ago and although it no speed demon, I’m still impressed by its performance ;-)
In the smartphone space, I think you can get a good one without spending that much. I think commodity is there.
It’s less about specs and more about build quality.
The weird thing is that no-one’s really making commodity laptops. Netbooks felt the need to be really small, and this compromised performance (I have a lovely 7" one - that therefore runs a 600mhz AMD Geode. It’s nice for some tasks).
Cars were a status thing up until very recently, and the US in particular has culture around them. Where I live (London) it feels like commoditization is happening, slowly - a few years ago I remember a news story about a car that retailed for GBP5000.
iPhones are really just shitphones from the future.
An interesting look at the commoditization of the smartphone