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Definition: early adopter

A person who purchases a new technology shortly after its introduction to the market. Examples are the myriad new products starting in the 1980s, including personal computers, music CDs, digital cameras, smartphones and hybrid automobiles. Many people love to be the first on the block to show off something unusual, but they take a risk embracing a new gadget. However, without the early adopters, vendors would never be able to perfect their products, which eventually results in lower prices and makes them more palatable for the masses.