The logic behind the consumer device economy

The Onion nicely parodies the often irrational (but highly predictable) drivers behind the constant treadmill of electronic gizmo introductions and the unrelenting consumer interest in each new launch.

The Onion nicely parodies the often irrational (but highly predictable) drivers behind the constant treadmill of electronic gizmo introductions and the unrelenting consumer interest in each new launch:

With the holiday shopping season officially under way, millions of consumers proceeded to their nearest commercial centers this week in hopes of acquiring the latest, and therefore most desirable, personal device.

The device, which is never named, retails for $395.

"Its higher price indicates to me that it is superior, and that not everyone will be able to afford it, which only makes me want to possess it more," said Tim Sturges, owner of the old device, which he obtained 18 months ago when it was still the new device. "I feel a strong urge to purchase the new device. Owning the new device will please me and improve my daily life."

"It's difficult to remember how I ever found enjoyment in my old device," Sturges continued. "It is no longer appealing to the eye."

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About the author

    Adam Richardson is the director of product strategy at frog design, where he guides strategy engagements for frog's international roster of clients, envisioning and creating new products, consumer electronics, and digital experiences. Adam combines a background in industrial design, interaction design, and sociology, and spends most of his time on convergent designs that combine hardware, software, service, brand, and retail. He writes and speaks extensively on design, business, culture, and technology, and runs his own Richardsona blog.

     

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