Don't you think that magnets are useful? What do you think what guitar pickups are made of?! Indeed, Ladies and Gentlemen, these are just some tiny pieces of magnetic material that in a strange way induce the sound, produced by guitars strings and convert it to electromagnetic waves, which are then carried to the amplifier through a 6.3 mm mono jack cable. Sounds complicated, doesn't it? Anyway, it is not a bad idea to sacrifice a little of your time to acquaint yourself with pickups in case you're about to become a guitarist.
To understand the expression Pickup configuration you should acquire some basic knowledge on Single-coils and Humbuckers. For beginning just keep in mind that these are two most popular and different types of pickup designs. Since there are usually more pickups installed on the individual guitar, various combinations of pickups are possible, either of same or a different type. And that’s what we call Pickup configuration.