Gen AI Adoption Feature

Generative AI Adoption Accelerates Past Smartphones and Tablets [Chart]

People are signing up to use generative AI at more than twice the rate of smartphones and tablets, according to a study by Emarketer. The report found generative AI will reach 77.8 million users just two years after ChatGPT’s release in November 2022. This outpaces the early growth of tablets and smartphones, though with the caveat that there’s no need to purchase new hardware to engage with most generative AI apps.

Chart by eMarketer: AI Adoption

That low barrier to accessing generative AI through existing devices has fueled curiosity and fast uptake, even as the technology remains novel for many consumers and businesses. Emarketer expects the growth rate will slow after the initial explosion. However, usage should persist, especially among millennials and Gen Z.

Generative AI hit over 100 million users just two months after ChatGPT launched. In contrast, the iPhone garnered 100 million global users over two years after its 2007 release. Tablets took two years to reach 75 million users worldwide following the 2010 iPad launch. So generative AI adoption has vastly exceeded both.

The rapid adoption underlines how new technologies can spread almost virally when easy access combines with intrigue. It took years for smartphones and tablets to become mainstream staples. ChatGPT achieved wide fascination and utility seemingly overnight by leveraging existing devices. Its conversational nature also provides mass appeal.

Looking ahead, Emarketer predicts generative AI will follow an S-curve trajectory, slowing after the initial explosion but settling into steady long-term growth. For now, its meteoric rise signals a new technology capturing the public imagination. But sustaining that momentum will require continuous evolution beyond today’s capabilities.