When it come to new products or technology, most of us have to have a lot of exposure before we feel comfortable buying. For example, the iPhone wasn’t the first smartphone. Neither was the Blackberry. The first smartphone was actually the Simon Personal Communicator: Released in 1994—more than 10 years before the iPhone—IBM’s personal communicator had a touch screen and many of the same features and apps that we all love today. But it was new. Too new. At the time, people weren’t really comfortable with the idea of an all-in-one device like a smartphone.
They didn’t see the need for it and Whatsapp Database with a $1,100 price tag, people just weren’t that interested. The Simon Personal Communicator only sold 50,000 units in the first 6 months after its release. The Blackberry 5810 was released in 2002 and performed better, but it was still largely seen as a gadget. But, it got people familiar with the idea of smartphones, which set the stage for Apple’s release of the iPhone in 2007. As groundbreaking and hip of a product as the iPhone was, if Apple had released it in 1994, it almost certainly would have been a flop. It would have been too new, too revolutionary, too unnecessary, even.
The mere exposure effect hadn’t bred contentment towards smartphones yet. You see this same principle throughout our economy. When you’re thirsty and you want a fizzy beverage, do you immediately think, “I want to try something new”? Or do you usually have a craving for some familiar, comfortable drink that you know and love? Familiar things are comfortable and safe, so our brains naturally prefer them. Known, familiar products and ideas are safe, so that’s what we’re inclined to buy—whether that’s a smartphone or a Diet Coke.