If you think you’re spending more money on tech than you did 20 years ago, you’re probably wrong.
While new technology such as virtual reality, drones and the connected home can cost a pretty penny, tech gadgets and appliances at the beginning of the 90’s cost just as much.
We found an old Radio Shack Presidents’ Day salepaper from 1991 that reminds us how much we spent on tech gadgets then and why they’re obsolete today.
According to the advertisement, a new desktop computer in 1991 cost $1,600 which is similar to prices of some higher end desktop systems today. The computer from 1991 however, had 20mb of storage, barely enough to hold 8 mp3 songs.
Today’s desktop computers can have 2 TB of hard drive space. A 1 gigabyte flash drive today can be found for $1.
Other gadgets from the sales circular are advertised on sale that few people use today. A desktop calculator, clock radio, landline phone, radar detector, police scanner, and portable cd player.
All of those devices are now included on our smartphones or downloadable as a free app.
3 years ago the radar detector in the ad was still relevant today but since then the free app Waze has replaced an ondash detector by alerting motorists of police speed traps by other drivers who report it through the app.
We added up the cost of every item on sale from the 1991 flyer and found it came up to roughly $3,000. Practically everything is available on the smartphone we carry with us at all times.
If we are not spending money on gadgets like these, where is our ‘tech dollars’ going?
Today consumers are spending the most money on services rather than products. Satellite or cable television can cost over $100 per month, highspeed internet often costs $80 and up, and monthly service fees for cellular access can easily exceed $300 for a family of four.
Add those services up and a family of four pays roughly $6,000 per year. Additional services for music and video streaming adds another $240 per year.