Hot Tech: It's Not Just for Geeks Anymore

A new survey shows that early adoption of new gear has gone mainstream

The First First-Gen iPhone (New York, June 2007)
Gorgio Montersino/flickr

Hey you, guy who camped out for days to get the first iPhone. I've got some bad news: Your geek cred is in question. A new study released today by Massachusetts marketing firm Forrester Research says that early adoption of hot new gear is no longer the exception, it's the rule. Will we all one day end up tailgating for tech?

High-end smartphones like the iPhone, in fact, are having an especially good couple of years. Study co-author Charles S. Golvin told The New York Times that more people expect to have the same access they have on a computer when they're on the move. Right now, about 15 percent of phone owners access the Web on their handsets, and that number is expected to rise steadily in the coming years. People are also far more likely to buy feature phones, with music and video playback capabilities.

The study surveyed nearly 54,000 households in the U.S. and Canada to see just how wired the average home is. Lo and behold, there are more people ahead of the tech curve than your dialup-having, non-text-messaging, RPTV-watching relatives would have you believe. HDTV adoption, for one, is up 27 percent in the U.S. since 2007, and it's projected that HDTVs will be in 70 percent of homes in the next five years. And of the homes polled, 60 percent have broadband Internet and 75 percent have both PCs and mobile phones.

The only area where people need to get off the dime is home networking. Only 33 percent of households run networked devices.

If this trend continues, one of two things will inevitably happen: We will all be perpetually in line waiting for Apple to give us our goodies. Or (please god) the supply of the newest toys will finally catch up with our ever-growing demand.