In a realistic sense, there seems to be more negativity circling the early adopter than there is positive feedback. After all, the only real “positive” thing you get from being an early adopter is a cool new toy before “everyone else,” right? But, the negative aspects are pretty clear: potentially buggy software, hardware issues, and potentially unsupported applications. It’s just part of being an early adopter, and for people who have been doing it for years know this very well. But, there has to be something else good about getting that new toy right away, right?
Maybe there is. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I’m thinking that there’s a pretty concrete argument for an early adopter to use when they’re talking to someone who is adamantly against it, or doesn’t see the point. What’s better, is that when I started fleshing out this idea, I was initially thinking that this point of view only worked with a yearly refresh schedule. But, it wouldn’t take too much stretching to make it work for any other market, too.
We’ll start with the yearly refresh schedule, though, because it’s the most obvious.
We’ll ignore rumors that the new iPhone is coming out in June for this article, and stick to the idea that it’s coming out later this year. Around October, specifically. With that in mind, we look at someone who adopted the iPhone 4S right out of the gate, acquiring that early adopter title. If this person has been one to stick with the iPhone from day one, and has continued to buy a new one each year, then it’s likely that they will buy the new iPhone when it launches this year, too. With that in mind, that means that being an early adopter means you get the most time with the new phone you just bought. You get a year’s worth of time with it, instead of someone who decides to wait.
That’s a big deal to me, personally. If I invest in a device, no matter what it is, but I’m consciously aware that something else is coming out at some point in the future (which is an awful truth here in the mobile phone industry), I want to be able to get the most out of it, and that includes time. If I understand that a new phone is coming out in a year, that directly replaces the one I’m planning on buying, then I don’t want to spend the money to have it for only a few months. No, I want the full experience, and one way to get that is to spend the whole year with it.
It gets a bit harder when you look at devices that have faster refreshes, but it’s still a good way to look at things. For example, the One X for AT&T is coming this month, and theres’ a good chance that at some point, in less than a year, there’s going to be another high-end device that lands on the network’s airwaves. With that in mind, I want to buy the HTC One X as soon as it comes out, that way I know that I got to use it as much as I could before that new handset comes out, and I want to buy that one, too.
I think it comes more into focus when you look at the tablet market. Specifically, with the new iPad, or even the Transformer Prime. Those are some high-end tablets that you know you want (or don’t want, depending), but the longer you wait to get them, the shorter your time will be with them, if you’re someone who watches the market. There will be another iPad, and there will be another tablet that you want that beats out the Transformer Prime.
Now, you could just wait until that “next great thing” comes down the pipe, because there’s no denying that it will. But, then you’d never buy anything, and you’d find yourself in a potential holding pattern, always waiting to see what else is coming. Being an early adopter isn’t a bad thing, even if it does sometimes mean that there’s a few hiccups here and there. Being an early adopter is great, because you get to spend the most time with your gadget, before you move on and buy something else.
Image via Techland