DEFINITION of 'Rate of Adoption'

The rate of adoption is the pace at which a new technology is acquired and used by the public. This can be represented by the number of members of a society who start using a new technology or innovation during a specific period of time. The rate of adoption is a relative measure, meaning that the rate of one group is compared to the adoption of another, often of the entire society.

Attributes of an innovation that affect the rate of adoption include the advantage created by adopting the innovation, the ease at which the innovation can be adopted into daily life, the ability of other members of society to see those who have already adopted the innovation and the expense associated with trying the innovation.

BREAKING DOWN 'Rate of Adoption'

The adoption rate is part of the diffusion of innovations theory, which seeks to explain how the use of new technologies, processes and innovations spreads through a society, and why they are adopted over old methods.

One major factor that influences the rate of adoption is the type of society that is being introduced to an innovation, as closed societies and societies without clear communication between adopters and non-adopters are less likely to take on a new technology.

Factors That Can Affect Rate of Adoption

While pricing of new technology can be a factor in the rate of adoption, the features offered with innovation can influence the overall demand for the product or service. For example, the introduction of smartphones, particularly the advent of the iPhone, was initially priced more as a luxury item. That made it an exclusive item when introduced to the public, with the cost factor as a potential hindrance to the rate of adoption. Despite the cost factor, the features and appeal of the iPhone drove demand among the public, which led to an accelerated rate of adoption for smartphones as a whole. As demand continued to grow, and pricing came down, smartphones spread rapidly among the public.

Not every innovation enjoys high rates of adoption. The complexities and limits of new technology can diminish demand and appeal with the target audience. For instance, virtual reality technology has been offered to the public through a variety of formats and platforms over numerous years. Despite improvements to the technology and more ways to access it, the rate of adoption did not escalate rapidly as more virtual reality products became available.

A slow rate of adoption occurred with 3D television, which had promised to bring the cinematic visuals of 3D movies to the residential market. The constraints of 3D technology and limitations in content for the home audience led to dwindling demand and minimal rates of adoption by the public. Eventually, major manufacturers discontinued production of 3D televisions as the rate of adoption never rose to sustainable levels.

  1. Adopter Categories

    Adopter categories are classification of individuals based on ...
  2. Diffusion Of Innovations Theory

    Diffusion of innovations theory is a hypothesis outlining how ...
  3. Early Majority

    The early majority is the first sizable segment of a population ...
  4. Adoption Credit

    An adoption credit is a federal tax credit that may be claimed ...
  5. IRA Adoption Agreement and Plan ...

    An IRA Adoption Agreement and Plan Document is a contract between ...
  6. Disruptive Technology

    Disruptive technologies are those that significantly alter the ...
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    Are College Honor Societies Really Worth It?

    College honor societies may offer substantial benefits to members and alumni, but they are not the only way for you to achieve your goals.
  2. Trading

    On This Day In Finance: July 6 - The United States Adopts The Dollar

    The U.S. adopts the dollar as a monetary unit.
  3. Insights

    How to Make Money With 3-D Printing Technology

    Discover how the 3-D printing technology industry continues double-digit annual sales growth and learn how to make money in this sector.
  4. Investing

    Why It's Easy to Hate 3D Systems (DDD)

    DDD data by YCharts. Judging by 3D Systems' (NYSE: DDD) stock performance since the start of 2014, investors' previous love affair with the 3D printing giant appears to have soured. During this ...
  5. Investing

    3D Systems Up on Positive Q3 Earnings (DDD)

    The 3D printing industry pioneer demonstrates the long-term growth potential of its product diversification and focus on 3D printing for manufacturing.
  6. Investing

    3D Systems: Q3 Driven by Healthcare Segment (DDD)

    The 3D printing industry pioneer released mixed third quarter earnings, in which its healthcare segment growth outpaced that of overall company sales.
  7. Investing

    GM Bets Big on 3D Printed Car Parts

    General Motors will use 3D printing technology to keep vehicles lighter and help mass adoption of electric and battery operated green vehicles
  8. Insights

    7 Products That Are Getting Cheaper

    While many necessities are becoming more expensive, items such as smartphones and clothing are seeing prices drop.
  9. Insights

    3D Printing Technology Revs Up (SSYS, DDD)

    Niche leaders Stratasys Ltd. and 3D Systems Corporation are projected to emerge from a period of industry decline, just as HP Inc. enters the market.
  10. Tech

    Blockchain Solutions to Grow 75% Through 2022: IDC

    According to International Data Corp.’s forecast, blockchain solutions will hit $11.7B by 2022.
  1. What impact does industrialization have on wages?

    Discover the impact that industrialization has on wages, and how the Industrial Revolution changed human standards of living ... Read Answer >>
  2. How accurate is the forward rate in predicting interest rates?

    Find out why forward rates are inconsistent and limited predictors of actual future interest rates, primarily because the ... Read Answer >>
  3. Why is social responsibility important in marketing?

    Social responsibility in marketing can drive consumers toward products and services, enhancing company's brand as well as ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center