The slow improvements in the technology around us has made us question “Is the Tech Industry Saturated in 2023?”. With the slowing pace of technology and marginal improvements not enough to justify an upgrade, it’s quite possible that the Tech has saturated in 2023.
However at the same time, we are also seeing new advancements in technology. The latest developments in technology include ChatGPT, Tesla Autopilot, Foldable Smartphones, Quantum Computing, Blockchain, etc. These didn’t exist few years back, thus technology is unlikely to be saturated, and is growing fast.
Well, technology always keeps improving. There are companies spending billions of dollars every year on research and development. So surely things improve. But is it worth upgrading?
We haven’t seen any breakthrough product in over a decade now. Like a new paradigm shift in technology, so does that mean our technology is saturated? From saturated I mean that it’s at the point where the upgrades are not worth it.
Well, the answer in short to the question of whether the technology has got saturated is Yes and No both.
What is “Tech-Saturated” meaning?
What Does Tech-Saturated meaning in terms of the entire History of Tech, well like everything in the world, there is a beginning, middle, and end.
Tech-Saturated basically means that our technology is improving at an insignificant rate, such that the generational improvements are barely noticeable. Tech-Saturated can be explained by many examples. One of the best examples is the Floppy Disk. Floppy Disks had their day, the Command-Line had its days, similarly, CRT displays had their whole era.
In this century, we got Multi-Gigabit Ethernet speeds, 64bit processors, the infamous Y2k Bug, and great revolutions in the form of Smartphones. So we surely have seen a lot of things. And none of them is old by any means.
And most of these technologies are improving every 12 months. But the fact of the matter is, that even if you pick a 2-year-old device, and compete against a current-generation device, you may not find a really big difference, that shows how Tech-saturated over the years.
From consumer tech to industrial technology, things seem to be a lot more stagnant, stable, and slow moving than ever before. In consumer tech, companies release products with almost incremental updates. And this raises a question, Is the technology industry saturated in 2023, with upgrades that aren’t worth being purchased.
Sure the phones got bigger, the bezels got shrunk, not nothing massive to an extent, that it can reimagine everything, or make us think everything from scratch.
The fact that laptops, phones, and tabs with an age gap of multiple years seem roughly the same, makes people think that the technology is saturated. I think the best way to understand this is to understand the past. So I was going through the history of computer technology, and I realized every 10-12 years, the technological advancements were such that the 10-year-old products were incompatible.
Is the Tech Industry Saturated in 2023?
Yes, the tech industry is saturated in 2023 due to the existence of too many products with minimal distinction between them for the average customer. For example, an 2-3 year-old phone of most consumers are still able to perform the vast majority of tasks that a brand new phone can do.
To understand, whether the Tech Industry is saturated and whether we have slowed down or not, we need to consider our past. Because our past shall be the right metric to discuss how the world used to progress versus how it works today
Technology of 1970s
Take this for example. At the start of 1960, we did not know what exactly was a computer, and this remained the same for most of the 1960s but after 1969, in the next 11 years, the world changed dramatically. The technology was never “Saturated” during these times.
in 1969, After the moon landing, everyone knew the power of #computer. And it was a cool word to know. In the 1960s everything happened on the command line, and computers were a big corporate mess which was considered “Glorified computers”.
But in the 1970s, we got the invention of the Hard Drive, the world got introduced to Personal Computer, We got one of the first supercomputers, and computers shrunk down to the point where not every computer was ugly.
In those 11 years, we discovered what a computer is, its capabilities, and by the end of the 1970s, we had a personal computer, meaning that computers weren’t the gigantic machines that needed a whole room and could not be moved from one place to another, and required dedicated cooling. The personal computer would sit in the home, was reliable had a simple-looking power supply.
So these 11 years, changed a lot in the world. We reimagined our workplaces, humans got replaced with machines.
Techological Advancements in the 1980s
The 1980s is the point where computers gained momentum. Because until now, the biggest restraint in having a computer was the utility. You have to “learn” how to command a computer, to do even basic stuff.
One of The most significant things about the 1980s was the #GUI. The graphic user interface meant that you don’t need to type anything to get work done, you can do everything visually.
Not to mention the adoption of the computer mouse. The mouse was invented in the 1960s but never gained mass appeal until the coming up of the first Macintosh. This would remain the only big thing until we get touch screens. Okay I get it Stylus comes in middle, but Stylus was highly unsaturated back then, it was useless, and had a lot of scope for improvement
In this decade we got the Graphic user interface, and Mouse, we did not have to type the commands on DOS, and rather we could point and click things.
The 1980s also brought with it, Microsoft Word, and the Windows Operating System. Both were unpolished, but that Word Processing system seems to be a really loved thing.
We got a whole new input method, a new way to interact with machines, user-friendliness, and the birth of WordProcessors. Such groundbreaking changes to our world were proof of how rapidly developed, and the history of technology shows how unsaturated the world was back then
So #Tech #Industry was not saturated back then. If you hypothetically taught someone computer knowledge and usage in 1979, locked him in a room for 10years, and got him out of it after 10 years, the computers must have been so different that it would be impossible to use the computer without relearning.
Basically meaning most technologies used in 1970s would have been old at the end of 1980s.
Tech in 1990s
The 1990s got with itself the birth of the World Wide Web. Before this, all you could do with a computer was write and print documents, do the math, basic drawings, store data, and a few other things. The 1990s seemed to be the time when the dust had settled, and the technology was advancing towards saturation, with a high level of Stability.
But #WorldWideWeb, brought with itself a massive array of opportunities, with varied uses, and most importantly expandability. Theoretically, you could use infinite services and infinite tools available on the internet. You were no more limited to just the tools that came into your computer from the manufacturer.
With this also came more heavy and intense professional tools like #Adobe Photoshop, pretty basic but still large programs.
At that time floppy gained popularity as it was the most popular lightweight, and affordable option to store programs and distribute files.
The tech industry had got a few different variants of #Floppy and there was a quest among all to prove their superiority.
Our beloved Google was born in this decade, and one of the significant software releases of this year was the Windows 95. It was this operating system, that got PC to every random person on the street.
Modern Technology of 2000s
Transitioning to the decade that most of us reading this would have surely witnessed. This decade was actually pretty significant.
We got iPods, which were not very groundbreaking, but they were a massive jump in terms of portability. They were the first major tech product to have used the hard disk, which soon became industry standard, the ability to store 1000 songs in a device this small was truly amazing.
iPhones, this you obviously know and can’t ignore. The biggest paradigm shift in input methods since the GUI. You could use your finger to interact with your #OS. The innovations like Multi-Touch, the keyboard, the Pinch to zoom, and many other software wonders made touch look good for the first time.
Social Media: Social Media was in my opinion the single largest thing that got mass adoption of people, started with Friendster, and continued by Facebook, Twitter, and many more.
Tech Saturated in 2020s
Yes. The technology is saturated in 2023. There are no ground-breaking new technology or product released in last many years, and only minor incremental improvements are seen. The decade of 2010-19 had what I believe was nothing massively different. Technology has saturated significantly.
In short, the answer to “Is the Tech industry saturated in 2023?” is “Yes”. There’s a lot of newer and unadopted technologies brewing in our industry, but all of the technologies that have had some degree of mass adoption are saturated in 2023
You know anyone who knew how to use an iPhone in 2010, would still be able to operate a phone in 2023, okay the 2023 phones are far superior, but essentially the form factor and the way input remains the same, be it android or Be it iOS.
Similarly, Personal Computers, are still devices with a Display, Mouse keyboard, and accessories. And the UI has more or less been the same.
Does that mean there is nothing that happened in the last decade and also in 2023?
No, many great things happened, this includes Artificial Intelligence is the biggest thing in the last decade, with massive improvements to it.
But Siri existed even in 2010 too. AI and AR have never taken off, even in the 2023s they haven’t taken off yet, random people don’t know what it is. AR has got a push recently, things like the ability to measure and many others are wonderful, but inconsistent and seldom used.
AI seems to be big, thanks to the efforts of Google, surely a guy from 2010 would be surprised by the knowledge and intelligence in Google.
Tech Saturated and Still Improving
I clearly stated Technology has got saturated, but then I mention AI, AR, VR, and Smart Watches. What’s going on, if technology is saturated then it should not be improving right?
There’s a reason why “Stagnant” and “Saturated” are 2 different words. Stagnant in technology shall mean no innovation, completely the same.
Which isn’t the case here. Technology is definitely improving and things have gotten significantly better. What we mean by Technology being saturated in 2023 is that the technology in the previous 1 decade has not improved at the same speed.
The idea of AR and VR is still an early thing. Everything is a party trick at the start, but here’s the thing, that in the past 1 decade, the progress is really slow.
To be honest AR and VR were first built in the 1960s. As I said technology keeps improving, but the saturation is when the updates year over a year seem insignificant. I earlier compared how every decade was so much different from the decade before it in terms of technological advancements.
But that isn’t the case in the last couple of years. The VR of 10 years is more or less the same. AI surely is a big thing, but it was slow until the Google Assistant. AI seems to be growing, but still far too slow for us to make it necessary in our lives.
AI-powered computer vision has helped Augmented Reality also. Again as I said, the last decade was relatively super slow. And while these 4 things were really growing in this decade, they didn’t really match the rate of growth and wild paradigm shifts brought by previous decades.
Again in conclusion Technology always keeps improving, but in 2023 technology seems to have almost become stagnant.
Yes, there are many new innovations, and breakthrough technologies. But, if you look closely, every decade we found a groundbreaking technology that entirely changed the way we live.
However, in 2010s and 2020s there is not much of a ground breaking difference in the way we live. Sure, there are many new innovations, but all of them are under currents that are far from mass adoption.
Therefore, I believe that tech is saturated in 2023.