Disruptive technology becomes disruptive innovation when the cost of that technology becomes affordable to the wider mass market. When costs come down to the point that the marketplace is disrupted.

A case in point is illustrated in a recent blog article by Dr. Joe Webb entitled, “How much would an iPhone have cost in 1991?”

He estimates that memory alone in an iPhone would have cost North of $1.4 million. With flash memory today costing about 55 cents a gigabyte thousands of us can afford to be pocketing what would have been a super computer at that time. The only cell phone I owned in 1991 took up half the space in the trunk of my car. Hands free devices weren’t yet required – but I had one anyway, hard wired to my device.

The cellphone has certainly been an example of innovative technology. But when the price and availability of smart phones in general reached a point that they became available to the greater mass market, they became an example of disruptive innovation.

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