Over-55s ‘forced into buy­ing smart­phones’

Computer Active (UK) - - News -

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.

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