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AP Photo/Roy Pollack
58% of American households still host a device first introduced in 1977.

American households are 40% more likely to have a VCR than a video game console

By Christopher Mims in USA

It’s easy to forget that technologies take a long time to reach the masses even in rich countries like the US. But a new poll from Gallup suggests that the one thing that takes even longer than adoption of new technologies is the abandonment of old ones.

Just look at these numbers—58% of Americans still own a VCR, a device first introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in 1977. Sure, that’s down from 88% in 2005, but it shows that a majority of Americans are holding onto a device designed to play a media format that isn’t even available anymore.

gallup poll on tech

Only 41% of Americans own a video game console, which means that on the whole, Americans are 40% more likely to have a VCR at home. Perhaps Netflix should rethink its focus on streaming?

Americans are almost as likely to own a tablet computer like an iPad (38%) as they are to own a video game console, which shows that there is still huge potential for growth in tablets. And as a whole, American households are still more likely to have a non-smartphone (45%) than a tablet, video game console, or access to a streaming service like Netflix.

Old technologies don’t die, it seems, so much as linger on far past their expiration date.