Avoiding tech?

I may have read this completely wrong, but two recent stories made my ears prick up. The first was the rise in paper book sales which follows on a continuing trend where paper is gaining a bigger share of the market and cutting the expected growth of the eBook market. If this was merely a case of paper book sales holding their own I would put it down to people who like paper being happy to stay with the format as it is familiar to them, but sales are growing which is suggestive of it actually eating in to eBook sales.

It goes against the expected wisdom that eBooks will one day dominate our reading and is in some ways quite refreshing.

The second concerns the growth of Swiss watch sales which have bounced back in numbers that were truly unexpected. At a time where much of the press likes to talk about the Apple Watch and smartwatches as the potential next big thing, it is another surprising dent to this theory.

It does not look like traditional watches are hampering smartwatch sales, but something is keeping the numbers high and whether that is consumers having more disposable income or a deliberate thought pattern on behalf of individuals to wear something simpler on their wrist, it is again refreshing to see.

And this brings me to a thought I have had for some time. Are we becoming jaded when it comes to new technology and almost bored because it is starting to feel too familiar?

Technology does not offer a sense of longevity or history and so it is seen by many as a purchase to do something with and is thus temporary. There is no emotional connection to the product, at least not to the level of a paper book or a beautifully crafted watch, and so it is easier to dispose of in our minds than a product that verges on being organic.

There will always be those who battle against what is new, but over time the early adopters become the norm and so we expect newer technologies to dominate. I’m just wondering if we have reached peak tech for this decade and if we are likely to see a drastic slowing down of new products as the market adjusts. Any thoughts?

Categories: Articles

1 reply

  1. There will always be people who want something unique or relatively unique and are willing to pay the price for it. iPhones and Apple Watches are no longer unique or even rare. Almost everyone has one. And if they don’t, they have some other smartphone or smart watch. As that tech becomes ubiquitous, there will be those who want something more personal, at least some of the time.

    As for books, I do find that very interesting. I’d like to see the age demographics as well as how that relates to population increases. And equivalent stats on e-book usage. Just because book purchases increased soesn’t mean that e-book usage has slowed.

    We look at tech as something always new, but it’s still separable into market areas. We have smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, etc. The same was said about the saturation of the PC market. I could say the same about the refrigerator market and other perceived non-tech markets. There will be new tech that didn’t exist before and there will be an adoption curve that will slow over time.The difference is that older generations like baby boomers aren’t as used to seeing new things all the time as say the millennials. And I don’t think my grandchildren will think about current tech the same way as we do. For them, it’s just the way things are. Whether they will expect innovation and something new more frequently remains to be seen.

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