by Mike Masnick

Can You Still Call Them Early Adopters If Almost Everyone Is Included?

from the just-wondering dept

With the kickoff of the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, a new study is being released basically saying that we're all "early adopters" now, with tech gadgets hitting the mainstream in a big way. Of course, with that being said, doesn't that mean that they're no longer early adopters? It seems like the concept of the early adopter has become so popular that gadget makers are embracing it as a marketing tactic. Even if you're one of the last people on the block to get an iPod, if you do, you'll be considered an "early adopter." If you dig a little deeper, though, the more interesting trend found in the study is not just that people are buying gadgets, but that they're willing to buy new and different gadgets, rather than simply upgrading old technology. That suggests a few different things, including that contrary to some other recent reports, people might actually want the gadgets they buy to last longer, so they can focus their disposable gadget income on something new, rather than just an upgrade.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    jmay, Jan 8th, 2007 @ 3:46am

    Everyone early adopters? That makes no sense. So i guess if someone got a 360 last year they are an early adopter along with the people that got tehm this year? weird

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Search Engines WeB, Jan 8th, 2007 @ 3:54am

    Replace Rather Than Repair

    ....they're willing to buy new and different gadgets, rather than simply upgrading old technology

    This may be due to several factors:
    The constant bells & Whistles being added to newer versions.
    Social pressure to impress with the lastest 'WOW' gadget
    The abundance of inexpensive technology, that makes it less practical to repair as opposed to replacing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    ScytheNoire, Jan 8th, 2007 @ 5:31am

    that's just stupid, there are still early adopters and people who wait for something to catch on and stay around.

    take the new HD DVD formats, there are very few buying them, because most want to see what happens and come two years from now, then maybe they'll buy them, if they are still around. but right now, only early adopters, with too much money, are buying the stuff.

    heck, my girlfriends mother just started doing voice-chat over the internet and thinks it's something new and cool. weird, since i was doing it a decade ago. but guess she's an early adopter of VoIP, even though that's been around for a decade now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Bumbling old fool, Jan 8th, 2007 @ 6:34am

    Of course they are still early adopters...

    What a silly question.

    "Early adopter" NOT EQUAL the group who tried things before it went mainstream.

    "Early adopter" EQUAL TO meant the group who tried things when they were still new.

    The only difference between then and now is that the "new" devices are actually worthwhile to more consumers, thus more early adopters.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    citizenj, Jan 8th, 2007 @ 7:21am

    wrong vocabulary i think...

    instead of 'early adopters' shouldn't we call it by what it is? Neophilia vs. neophobia. neophiles love the new stuff and the phobes don't. but more and more cool stuff is coming out so more and more people are becoming neophilic. how hard is that to understand? and no jokes about necrophilic please, it's already been done.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    PhysicsGuy, Jan 8th, 2007 @ 10:01am


    a phobia is an irrational fear. not loving new stuff is not equivalent to fearing new stuff. the only new stuff i buy is computer hardware. frankly, you can take your wifi email bunny and sit on it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    misanthropic humanist, Jan 8th, 2007 @ 12:09pm

    late developers

    To elaborate on what BOF and SytheNoir say (I hope I'm reading you guys correctly) the status of early or late adoption is being redefined by redefining the technology in name only.

    For example, technically I used the "internet" in 1985. But by all popular definitions there was no internet in 1985.

    And for VOIP, yes, I used it on Solaris systems in 1989, Sun even had their own chunkable audio format that predates .mp3 and .wav, I forget what that was called now, .aux or something. Admittedly the jitter was terrible, even over LAN, but it was technically VOIP.

    So are iPod users early adopters of mobile audio, not unless I imagined the entire phenomenon of the Sony Walkman.

    The phrase "early adopter" is misleading if you are talking about people who switch to your product in an already established market.
    It's just another way of saying that you are a late developer.

    Genuinely new technological paradigms always have a very cold start.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Rabbit Vibrator Reviews, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 7:24pm

    Early Adopters

    Someone who buys her first ipod today would not be considered an early adopter in my mind.

    That's like saying anyone who buys a rabbit vibrator is an early adopter... even though these toys have been around for years.

    Come on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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