A well-accepted idea among new-products marketing practitioners in the last decade is that the market for new products should be viewed as composed of “early” and “mainstream” markets with a “chasm” in between them. A fundamental premise of such an approach is that there is a communication break, at least to some degree, between the consumers in the early market segment and the mainstream adopters.

The aim of this study is to examine to what extent aggregate product growth data, typically used in the diffusion of innovation paradigm, can provide empirical support for the existence of a communication break in the diffusion of innovations. We present three alternative models (Bass, Rogers, and Moore) that are flexible enough to include a partial or complete chasm between the early and mainstream markets, and analyze the sales data for three durable goods: color TVs, room air conditioners, and citizen’s band (CB) radios. We show the existence of a partial communication break in all three markets.