Most popular gadget ever? The boombox

Deep down inside, you knew it to be true: based on the percentage of households to adopt a new technology after seven years of market maturity, the boombox takes the crown as the most popular gadget ever. Cellphones? Not even close.

The data in the graph below were collected from the Consumer Electronics Manufacturing Association, and show the percentage of households with a gadget of that given type after the technology had been available for seven years:


It's easy to see why the most popular technologies hit those 40% to 60% marks: they were revolutionary. The boombox made music portable. The CD player made music access easy compared to cassette tapes. The VHS tape made television recordable, and the DVD player offered the same advantages over VHS as CDs did over tapes.

If we think about the most recent crop of "new" consumer technologies that aren't on this graph, like Blu-Ray or 3DTV, where do we think they'll end up? My guess: pretty low market adoption, for the simple reason that they don't offer the same sort of revolutionary improvement that the boombox did. Yeah, Blu-Ray is "high definition" and all, but it doesn't enable you to do much that you couldn't already do with a DVD. 3DTV is the same deal: it makes an existing product slightly better (if you even think it's better at all), as opposed to really being the Earth-shattering revolution that all of the electronics companies are desperately trying to tell us that it is.

Via The Atlantic

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