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Does new survey reflect 'global gadget fatigue' in consumers?

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A new survey has found that about half of consumers think "high-tech manufacturers bring new products to market faster than people need them." Does this mean that "global gadget fatigue" has set in?

UL Product Mindset Survey
UL Product Mindset Survey

A cross-continental study of consumer and manufacturer opinions has found that "48 percent of consumers feel high-tech manufacturers bring new products to market faster than people need them." Extrapolating from this data point, the New York Times wonders if we're experiencing "global gadget fatigue" over our devices or, conversely, if people are simply frustrated with producers valuing quick release dates over truly innovative design.

There are a few hints at an answer in the 42-page report — 19 percent of American manufacturers believe "speed to market is the most important consideration that impacts your ability to compete," for example, suggesting that they feel pressure to release faster even at the expense of good performance. On the other hand, there's little difference between how much consumers say they value innovation in high-tech goods and how much manufacturers think they do.

Looking at the study itself, buyers also seem more worried about product safety than consumerism or even innovation. Almost half say that high-tech manufacturers value sales over product safety, and 67 percent feel that "manufacturers do not conduct thorough testing before launching new products." Much of the report focuses on concerns over safety, quality, and environmental impact, all of which are hot topics for both consumers and manufacturers. Read the full study, and the Times' take on it, at the links below.