What is 'Bleeding Edge Technology'

Bleeding edge technology is a type of technology released to the public even though it has not been thoroughly tested and may be unreliable. Bleeding edge technology usually comes with a great degree of risk and expense for the end user — in most cases, the consumer

BREAKING DOWN 'Bleeding Edge Technology'

Bleeding edge technology is usually released to the public before any major testing is done. In fact, the technology is presented to consumers as beta testing is underway. This usually helps companies smooth out any kinks, problems and any other issues that go unseen when the technology is originally made. 

Unfortunately, this means that the end user, or the consumer, is usually the one who ends up with the greater risk. It also means there could be added expenses for the consumer as well, whether that's time or money. 

Bleeding vs. Leading, Cutting Edge

The term "bleeding edge" is often seen as being related to the similar terms "leading edge" and "cutting edge." Despite the allusion to these terms, it's important to remember that bleeding edge technology can often be unreliable. 

Costs and Benefits of Bleeding Edge Technology

If a technology is not 100 percent ready for the public to use, why would a company want to release it? Simply, there are certain benefits for a firm to release bleeding edge technology. It is particularly common for certain types of software, especially open-source software, to be released in this form. By doing so, it allows the company to give users access to it in order to test out and contribute to the technology. The firm can also be made aware of and smooth out any flaws, and gather input into what consumers find may help boost the user experience. 

But there are also disadvantages to using bleeding edge technology. There is a chance of consumer backlash, especially when the technology is far too flawed. And that means that the company could end up with the heavy expense of having a product on the market that people just do not want to buy. 

Bleeding Edge Technology Example

One example of bleeding edge technology would be the smartphones people are so eager to get their hands on. After purchase, there may be fewer applications, major problems and limited support.

Apple's iPhone 4 was bleeding edge technology for many users. This version of the popular smartphone came with some risks that included an antenna issue and some operating system glitches. These issues are usually addressed within months of the release of bleeding edge technology.

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