Apparently Brits are early adopters of communications technologies, like smartphones. But, for me, I think that this means many of us are paying a high price for such faith in new devices.
Can’t wait to get your hands on the latest tech? Then you’re not alone. We Brits are among the earliest to jump onto new technology bandwagons, according to Ofcom’s research.
The UK has been quick to embrace both fixed and mobile broadband, digital TV and smartphones.
iPhone 4 bit back at early adopters
While it’s great to see Britain embracing emerging technologies, personally, I’d rather wait. All too often early adopters pay too high a price.
Take the iPhone 4, for example. Everyone rushed out to buy the latest Apple smartphone, only for the device to be beset with problems. First with its proximity sensor, which meant people were clicking buttons without meaning to. And secondly, the phone seemed to lose reception when people held it a certain way.
Apple’s quick fix for the latter was to offer disgruntled customers a free iPhone 4 case – a nice gesture, but cold comfort for those who spent hundreds on the latest must-have gadget.
Jumping on digital TV too early
There are other examples, too. People who bought early Freeview, and other digital set-top-boxes, have already had to upgrade to a newer model – including myself.
Following the latest service upgrade, all three Freeview boxes in our house, which had previously had near perfect reception, stopped working and several channels disappeared overnight. The helpline said we’d have to buy a new box.
Speaking of TV, those who simply can’t wait to get their hands on the latest 3D TVs may well be disappointed. They’re paying a premium price for a product that’s not selling in huge numbers yet and the models we’ve seen so far haven’t exactly wowed our testers in terms of their 3D quality. If you wait, you’ll spend less and get better quality results.
Similarly, if you couldn’t wait to buy an Apple iPad, it’s likely you’ve had to pay over the odds for a new class of device that Apple has had carte blanche on. But now we’re seeing Tablet PCs from multiple manufacturers and it’ll only take one killer product to force Apple’s prices down.
So while technology excites me, I’ll never rush to buy the latest gadgets until early wrinkles are ironed out and prices begin to fall.
Read Andy Vandervell’s opposing argument in ‘Early technology adopters get ahead in life‘.