Over-55s ‘forced into buying smartphones’
Smartphone sales have rocketed among the over-55s in the UK, but some may have been “forced” into buying one in order to use modern facilities.
Research from consultancy firm Deloitte shows that 71 per cent of people aged 55 to 75 now own a smartphone (up from 29 per cent in 2012). In its 2017 ‘State of the smart’ report Deloitte said many of these so-called “silver swipers” are using their phones in a similar way to teenagers.
It predicted that this growth will continue, driven by the over-55s’ “proportionally higher disposable income” and their “increasing awareness of technology”.
Paul Lee, Deloitte’s head of research for technology, said: “Older consumers will become an increasingly important segment of the mobile industry: they are no longer a fringe group”.
However, Deloitte’s report also said that some older smartphone users bought phones reluctantly because they are necessary for everyday tasks like paying for a parking ticket or ordering a taxi. It suggested that rather than buying their first phone, many over-55s received one secondhand from their children.
Overall though, younger people use phones more frequently. The study, involving 4,100 people, shows that over-55s spend 15 hours a week on their phone, compared with 32 hours among 16 to 24- year-olds. In total, 41 million of us, about 85 per cent of the population, own a smartphone.