Lifespan of a tech junkie

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57even Forum Pro • Posts: 13,584
Lifespan of a tech junkie

Let's face it, new tech is exciting. A new bauble to compare and boast about, a new hobby to obsess over. But all high-tech obsessions are ephemeral and short lived for most new adopters. As soon as the tech matures, and their abilities prove to be average at best, their interest wanes.

Hi-fi, camcorders, PCs, iPods, Blur-ray players, home cinema, all had their day in the sun, only to be superseded by different tech, or maturing into standard household appliances to be replaced only when needed, like washing machines and hair-dryers.

Between 2004 and 2010, there was a huge spike in the sales of advanced cameras. A lot of that was people replacing or supplementing their film cameras, but there were also a lot of tech junkies who were looking for a new fix.

By 2011, the technology had matured. Apart from a few refinements, nothing much changed to capture the imagination, and tech junkies needed a new fix.

The timing of the arrival of high-end smartphones and social media was almost perfect. A phone that took decent pictures without having to know anything about photography, and the ability to post selfies to adoring followers in seconds, were the new 'thing'. A $1000 smart phone was a small price to pay.

Now, even that fad is starting to pall. The market is saturated, there are signs of a fairly steep decline in sales of high-end phones, social media is becoming increasingly tarnished, and trade wars are pushing up prices. This latest 10-year cycle is a couple of years away from its inevitable conclusion, and AI isn't going to fix it.

So what's will the next big thing be? Or now that we are all owners of convenient content streaming devices, will Apple, Sony, Amazon and Google simply be content to drip feed us content while we press the buy button - like trauma patients on a morphine pump?

As for the remnants of the camera market, I suspect the decline will slow down. One thing about the absorption of all those new junkies is that some of them discovered a latent creative talent and transferred their obsession to photographs instead of cameras. Also, phone users who find they have a real talent for story telling through pictures and video will start thinking about taking it seriously at some point.

The ILC market will settle back again, but I reckon the level will be much higher than it was in 1992, even if the digicam market is well and truly dead.

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