Guess What's the Fastest-Adopted Gadget of the Last 50 Years?

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    Mar 23, 2012 3:39 PM GMT
    http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/03/guess-whats-the-fastest-adopted-gadget-of-the-last-50-years/254948/

    When we think about the great consumer electronics technologies of our time, the cellular phone probably springs to mind. If we go farther back, perhaps we'd pick the color television or the digital camera. But none of those products were adopted as fast by the American people as the boom box.

    That factoid is a sidenote in a 2011 paper that I stumbled on from the Journal of Management and Marketing Research. Author Tarique Hossain included data from the Consumer Electronics Manufacturing Association on the "observed penetration rate at the end of the 7th year" for all the technologies listed above. Hossain's data didn't include the starting years for these seven-year periods, but I'm assuming they mark the introduction of the boom box in the mid-1970s. That would mean that by the early 1980s, more than 60 percent of American households owned some kind of portable cassette player with speakers attached to it.

    It's worth noting that all five of the fastest-adopted technologies were for the consumption of entertainment not communication or production of media.


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    Mar 24, 2012 3:13 PM GMT
    Hmmmm. I don't know one person, young or old, that owns a Boom Box.icon_neutral.gif
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    Mar 24, 2012 3:25 PM GMT
    Radio Raheim FTW! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 24, 2012 4:27 PM GMT
    This probably explains why the portable speaker systems with iProduct docks are such great sellers. I've even considered getting one for my Nano.
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    Mar 24, 2012 4:56 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidThis probably explains why the portable speaker systems with iProduct docks are such great sellers. I've even considered getting one for my Nano.
    A large percentage of alarm clocks are this way.
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    Mar 24, 2012 7:03 PM GMT
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  • neosyllogy

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    Mar 24, 2012 7:44 PM GMT
    Very interesting, thanks
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    Mar 24, 2012 7:57 PM GMT
    I think it's a bit misleading, though. The boom box was an ongoing evolution of the radio and portable cassette players. It wasn't necessarily "new technology" that usually takes years of consumer trust to create a true market. Battery-operated radios were first introduced in1925. And the first portable cassette players were introduced around 1968.
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    Mar 24, 2012 11:03 PM GMT
    I had a lot of them back in the 80's. Back then it was kind of like the cell phone in a way- about two months after you got one, it was already looking not so cool and dated.

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    Mar 26, 2012 4:20 PM GMT
    I thought it was going to be smart phones/cellphones/iPod or something to that effect. This is rather odd lol, thanks for the post.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4864

    Mar 26, 2012 7:25 PM GMT
    The boom box has become passé; it's been replaced by smaller devices connected to ear buds.