This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the Early Adopters and Emerging Consumer Technology market including Early Adopters and Emerging Consumer Technology market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for the Early Adopters and Emerging Consumer Technology market in the US.

Current market landscape

Early Adopters play a crucial role in the introduction and success of new technologies. This group wishes to be amongst the first to try new tech products, or to even try them before they become publicly available. They make up 40% of consumers, and skew male as well as younger than the general population. Entertainment and curiosity are two of their biggest motivations for trying new technologies.

Early Adopters come from a mix of different income levels, and high prices as well as shortages could certainly cause them to cut back on purchasing – particularly for items considered non-essential, which is often the case for new technologies.

Future market trends in Early Adopters and Emerging Consumer Technology

As inflation and geopolitical risk impact the US economy, the consumer technology space will inevitably feel the effects, potentially discouraging investment in R&D and delaying product rollouts. Companies may have more limited access to capital and supply chain issues could lead to shortages, driving prices even higher.

However, innovative technologies remain a critical driver of the global economy. Significant investments made in recent years will continue to bear fruit in the years to come, including widespread access to broadband internet connections via enhanced 5G networks as well as new platforms and hardware supporting VR and AR. Emergence of a “killer app” in areas like VR could make products that seem optional today become necessities tomorrow – and Early Adopters will be essential to this transition.

Read on to discover more about the Early Adopters and Emerging Consumer Technology consumer market, read our Tech & Wellness – US – 2022 report, or take a look at our other Technology/Telecoms Market research reports.

Quickly understand

  • The adoption curve for new technologies and key demographics of Early Adopters.
  • Key players and opportunities in the emerging consumer technology sector.
  • Technology ownership and usage by Early Adopters.
  • Early Adopter attitudes toward new technologies.
  • Factors encouraging and discouraging Early Adopters from purchasing new technologies.

Covered in this report

Brands include: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Meta, Roblox, Decentraland, Oculus Quest, TikTok, Epic Games, Fortnite, Whoop, Foxconn, Samsung, iPod, Apple TV+, Alphabet, Fitbit, Facebook, Snapchat, Whoop, Oladance,, Venmo, Zelle.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Fiona O’Donnell, a leading analyst in the Technology sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Technology is a major driver of the economy, making Early Adopters an important audience to win. This group is motivated by curiosity and the sheer fun of discovering something new, but innovations must also serve a helpful purpose. Even during turbulent times, Early Adopters remain excited about new technology; providing early access to new products and features and leveraging Adopters’ social networks are good strategies for getting the most from this influential segment.
Director - Multicultural, Lifestyles, Travel and Leisure
Fiona O’Donnell
Senior Director, US Reports

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Consumer technology adoption curve, 2022
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Is the metaverse what’s next?
      • Figure 2: AR/VR/MR & metaverse digital technologies – Not using but interested, by Early Adopters, 2022
    • Leverage Early Adopters’ social networks
    • Dads an important target audience
      • Figure 3: Technology devices – Current use, by Early Adopter and dads, 2022
    • Young Early Adopters less engaged
      • Figure 4: Perceptions of emerging technology and AR/VR/MR & metaverse disinterest, by Early Adopter status and 18-24s, 2022
    • Key consumer insights
  3. Early Adopters: Consumer Profile

    • Early Adopters are critical to driving innovation
      • Figure 5: Diffusion of innovation curve
    • Interest in new technologies comparable to other new products
      • Figure 6: Adoption curve – “A new product” vs “New technology,” 2021 and 2022
    • Mintel Trend Driver: Technology
      • Figure 7: Trend Driver – Technology and associated pillars
    • Younger consumers, men most likely to be Early Adopters
      • Figure 8: Profile of Early Adopters, indexed to all consumers, 2022
  4. Emerging Consumer Technology: Market Indicators

    • Smartphones, smart home already mature; AR/VR on the rise
      • Figure 9: Global consumer technology device shipments, 2020 and 2021
    • Start-up funding spikes – But will it last?
      • Figure 10: US venture capital investment, total and consumer tech, 2011-21
  5. Market Factors

    • Inflation contributes to looming recession threat
      • Figure 11: Consumer Price Index change from previous period, 2007-22
    • In short supply
    • Could 5G change the game?
      • Figure 12: Interest in 5G networks and 5G smartphones, 2020 vs 2022
    • COVID-19 speeds tech adoption
      • Figure 13: Digital activities in the past three months and doing more often since COVID-19, 2021
  6. Emerging Tech: Key Players and Innovators

    • Tracking the tech giants
      • Figure 14: Market capitalization, 2022 and revenues of leading consumer tech companies, 2021
    • Can Apple retain its advantage?
    • Alphabet focuses on AI
      • Figure 15: Google Project Starline installation, 2021
    • Meta goes, well, meta
      • Figure 16: Metaverse awareness and knowledge, by gender and age, 2022
    • Samsung puts the future on display
      • Figure 17: Samsung Odyssey Ark at CES, 2022
    • A future for fintech after the crypto crash?
  7. Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

    • It never hurts to be social
      • Figure 18: Daily use of social media sites, by Early Adopters status, 2022
      • Figure 19: Whoop affiliate program, 2022
    • Follow the crowd?
      • Figure 20: Oladance Kickstarter campaign page, 2022
    • Crypto leverages celebrity clout
      • Figure 21: “Fortune favours the brave” ad, 2022
  8. Early Adopters: Fast Facts

    • Early Adopters at the leading edge for smart home and smart health
    • 5G phones fully mainstream, wearables not there yet
    • High enthusiasm for domestic robots, wearables
    • Negative perceptions seen for some fintech
    • Awareness low for the metaverse, AR
    • Video calls see strong engagement
    • Perceptions of new tech mostly positive
    • Convenience, entertainment, curiosity drive adoption
    • Purchase cost, privacy main deterrents
  9. Technology Devices Use and Interest

    • Smart home appliances, robots not yet mainstream
      • Figure 22: Household technology devices use and interest, 2022
    • Early Adopters have embraced smart home technology
      • Figure 23: Household technology devices – Current use, by Early Adopters, 2022
      • Figure 24: Early Adopters’ household technology devices – Not using but interested, by gender and age, 2022
    • Significant room for foldables and advanced wearables to grow
      • Figure 25: Personal technology devices use and interest, 2022
    • 5G, smartwatches have critical mass for Early Adopters
      • Figure 26: Personal technology devices – Current use, by Early Adopters, 2022
      • Figure 27: Early Adopters’ personal technology devices – Not using but interested, by gender and parental status, 2022
  10. Digital Technologies Use and Interest

    • With the exception of digital wallets, fintech still early stage
      • Figure 28: Digital technologies use and interest – Fintech/currency, 2022
    • Early Adopters more interested in crypto than NFTs
      • Figure 29: Fintech/currency digital technologies – Current use, by Early Adopters, 2022
      • Figure 30: Early Adopters’ fintech/currency digital technologies – not using but interested, by age and household income, 2022
    • Solid awareness for VR, limited for related technologies
      • Figure 31: Digital technologies use and interest – AR/VR/MR & metaverse, 2022
    • VR begins to gain critical mass with Early Adopters
      • Figure 32: AR/VR/MR & metaverse digital technologies – Current use, by Early Adopters, 2022
      • Figure 33: Early Adopters’ AR/VR/MR & metaverse digital technologies – not using but interested, by age, 2022
    • Limited awareness for AI/digital substitutes
      • Figure 34: Digital technologies use and interest – AI/Digital substitutes, 2022
      • Figure 35: AI/digital substitutes technology – Current use, by Early Adopters, 2022
  11. Digital Activities

    • Digital engagement continues growth following COVID-19 boost
      • Figure 36: Digital activities in the past three months, 2021-22
    • High majority of Early Adopters trying digital activities
      • Figure 37: Digital activities in the past three months, by Early Adopters, 2022
    • Metaverse most popular amongst the young
      • Figure 38: Early Adopters’ digital activities – Virtual entertainment and NFTs, by age, 2022
    • Older Early Adopters open to virtual medicine
      • Figure 39: Early Adopters’ digital activities – Health consultation, by age, 2022
  12. Perceptions of Emerging Technology

    • Too much of a good thing?
      • Figure 40: Perceptions of emerging technology, 2017 vs 2022
    • Early Adopters are excited by new tech
      • Figure 41: Perceptions of emerging technology, by Early Adopters, 2022
    • Non-parents most likely to find new tech exciting, interesting
      • Figure 42: Early adopters’ perceptions of emerging technology – Positive, by parent status and gender, 2022
    • Young adopters more apprehensive about tech
      • Figure 43: Early adopters’ perceptions of emerging technology – Negative, by age, 2022
  13. Motivations and Barriers for Technology Adoption

    • For Early Adopters, new tech is fun
      • Figure 44: Motivations for technology adoption, by Early Adopters, 2022
    • Cost savings less critical than convenience, curiosity
      • Figure 45: TURF Analysis – Motivations for tech adoption, 2022
      • Figure 46: Table – TURF Analysis, Motivations for tech adoption, 2022
    • Methodology
    • Cost, privacy key challenges for all consumers
      • Figure 47: Barriers for technology adoption, by Early Adopters, 2022
      • Figure 48: Barriers for technology adoption, by age and household income, 2022
  14. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Market data
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms

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