Il y a quelques semaines déjà, un article de DigitalTrends se faisait l’écho d’une étude : celle-ci s’était amusée à calculer combien aurait coûter un iPhone en 1991, au regard du coût des composants. La réponse : 3,56 millions de dollars.

iphone-5-bouygues

Evidemment, il y a plein de précautions à prendre puisque toutes les technologies n’existaient pas, mais, comme le note DigitalTrends certains éléments comparatifs parlent d’eux mêmes: par exemple, un gigabyte de stockage coûtait 10 000 USD en 1991 … contre 0,4 USD aujourd’hui.

Even with those caveats in mind, it’s still an interesting exercise to see how far we’ve come in the space of a couple of decades. In 1991, for example, a gigabyte of hard disk storage cost $10,000; today, you can pick the same amount of drive space up for 4 cents. Apple’s new A7 CPU processor inside its latest devices outpaces the desktop PC standard of 1991 by a factor of 1,242 — something to think about the next time you’re waiting for Flappy Bird to load.

Récemment, sur son blog, Mark Perry rapportait une autre évaluation du même genre : il montre combien le progrès technique a permis de faire baisser le coût de production des ordinateurs en comparant ce que seraient aujourd’hui les prix des ordinateurs des années 1990.

Technology and the Internet have come a long way since the birth of the web 25 years ago, and the computer equipment we have today to surf the web is exponentially cheaper, faster, and more powerful than it was 25 years ago – and it keeps getting better all the time. The continual, relentless, ongoing and significant improvements in computer technology illustrated above with the 25-year comparison in computer equipment, contribute significantly to our economic well-being by generating significant amounts of consumer surplus, which isn’t accurately captured (if it’s captured at all) in economic measures like GDP. In that case, the recent weakness in real GDP growth might be significantly understating the true, much higher growth in our standard of living and economic well-being.

 Preuve, s’il en faut, que le progrès technique nous enrichit.

Computer19891

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