"A Gadget's Life" (Washington Post, January 2011)

Washington Post: “A gadget’s life: From gee-whiz to junk”, graphic by Alicia Parlapiano / The Washington Post, January 10, 2011 (©). Flash is required.

About the general idea behind this project:

Web-connected and 3-D TVs are the buzz at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, but it hasn’t even been that long since TV went digital. Here’s a look at which gadgets have gone from obscure to ubiquitous over the past 30 years, and how their prices shrank along the way.

About the specific “Communication” tab shown above :

The average price of a cellphone was about $4,000 in 1984 – and only a few people could afford one. Sales of home phones fell as cellphones got less expensive, averaging about $200 in 2000. Sales of standard cellphone began to fall as smartphone added features beyond calls and text messaging.

The authors note: “2010 data are estimates and 2011 data are projections.” I encourage you to visit the actual page for you can roll over the graphic to get much more specific information.


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