Information and communication technologies (ICT) are critical for nations to participate in trade and reap the benefits of access to world markets. Despite evidence that several factors play an important role in the assimilation of new technologies, the drivers of adoption of digital technologies are not well understood and findings remain inconsistent. Based on theories of economic growth and innovation diffusion theory and using the well known takeoff phenomenon as the underpinning, we hypothesize and empirically examine the relationships between the physical quality of life (literacy, life expectancy), and macroeconomic indicators of overall development (foreign direct investment, communications infrastructure) and the takeoff of digital technologies. Our findings confirm that important differences exist with respect to takeoff in high, medium and low income countries. Our study also reveals the differential impact of the covariates on takeoff for the three income groups.