Touch Tablet On Track to be Fastest-Spreading Technology in History



The publication MIT Technology Review compares major consumer technologies, from the telephone and television to the mobile phone and tablet. Their conclusion is that mobile phones have gone “mainstream” faster than any other major technology in history, achieving this status in just 20 years.

They also break down speed of acceptance in stages, which makes for interesting comparison. For example, it took landline telephones about 45 years go to from 5% penetration in the United States to 50%, compared with just 7 years for mobile phones.

What’s most surprising about the report is that touch tablets are actually spreading way faster than even cell phones. And this fact is more interesting still when you consider that one company, Apple, is almost solely responsible for this growth, and one product, the iPad, pretty much is the touch-tablet market.

Read the whole report here.

  • aardman

    Seems to me, if they will count the pre-iPhone smart phones in the 0-10% adoption rate, then under tablets they should count the pre-iPad tablets which goes back before Windows tablets all the way to Grid.  The article calls those devices “false starts” which is a bogus argument.  Once the first commercial model was released, the technology is deemed to exist.  That those models didn’t thrive isn’t a ‘false start’, it’s an ‘extremely low adoption rate’.

    A blogger or analyst making that conceptual mistake is understandable.  But MIT failing to distinguish between the adoption rate of a specific commercial model (iPad) vs. the adoption rate of the underlying technology (tablet computers)?  Shame.