7Sadada
Interesting article @ The NYTimes, are consumers are choosing simpler electronic gadgets? Pictured here a taken apart Flip camera.

THE National Bureau of Economic Research hardly stunned the nation this month when it announced that the United States had been in recession since December 2007.

And, as it turns out, the buyers of consumer electronics could very well have been a leading economic indicator. Over the last year, they chose to buy two inexpensive and simple products, the Wii and the Flip, over competing gadgets bristling with more features.

Nintendo has sold more than 30 million Wii game consoles since they were introduced two years ago. The machine is still luring shoppers: lines of buyers still form on Sunday mornings outside electronics stores.

The $130 Flip camcorder is also simple, and two to three times cheaper than camcorders made by Sony or JVC that have optical zoom, an optical viewfinder and special effects. The original Flip didn’t even have a headphone jack. Revenue at Pure Digital Technologies, its manufacturer, grew 44,667 percent, the highest rate of any company in Silicon Valley, over the last five years, according to Deloitte, the business services firm. Pure Digital Technologies says it has sold more than 1.5 million Flips since it unveiled the product line in 2007.

What do you think makers? What gadgets did you pick up this year? Are they more complex or “simpler” than last year?

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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