The Consumer Device Adoption Cycle

Here is Ted Schadler of Forrester Research on the consumer device adoption cycle:

New consumer devices follow an adoption cycle with three market phases: emerging, expanding, and maturing. In each phase, different consumer segments enter the market in large numbers. Emerging markets are dominated by high-income technology optimists. Expanding markets bring in two different groups — high-income tech pessimists and low-income tech optimists — each with its own way of shopping and purchase drivers. To reach consumers, marketers must tailor marketing messages and media mix to the appropriate segment and device adoption phase.

I don’t disagree, but I’m trying to parse how this is different and/or more helpful than Geoff Moore’s “Crossing the Chasm” model, other than it’s newer. The cynic in me says Ted has renamed and abridged Geoff’s categories, but maybe I’m missing something. Then again, I’d happily watch a reality TV show pitting high-income tech optimists and high-income tech pessimists against one another.


  1. As someone who likes to see credit where credit is due, you should remember that when asked about this, Mr. Moore readily points out that the chasm model was inspired by similar models worked out in the 1950’s to explain the adoption of agricultural technology.

  2. Yes, good point. And I often point people to Everett Rogers’ classic “Diffusion of Innovations” book, which came out in its first edition in 1962.