Sales of smartphones are booming among over-55s in the UK, new research has revealed.
According to a study by Deloitte, smartphone adoption among 55 to 75-year-olds has reached 10.3 million – or 71 per cent of this demographic.
This group was found to be the fastest-growing adopters of smartphones over the last five years, with a compound annual growth rate of 19 per cent since 2012.
Paul Lee, head of research for technology, media and telecoms at Deloitte, said these so-called “silver swipers” are demonstrating similar behaviour patterns as those of smartphone users aged between 16 and 19.
This, he stated, is indicative of the device’s ability to narrow the generation gap.
However, Mr Lee stressed that while smartphone adoption has reached saturation point among younger consumers, this isn’t the case among older people.
As a result, device ownership and usage intensity among 55 to 75-year-olds is set to rise steadily over the next few years.
Mr Lee believes this trend also means that older consumers will become an increasingly important segment of the mobile industry in the near future.
“They are no longer a fringe group, whose smartphone usage remains confined to calls and messages,” he commented.
Indeed, he pointed that since this demographic has proportionally higher disposable income and growing awareness of technology, it “may well become a major contributor to future growth in the industry”.
Commenting on the findings, Ian Fogg from IHS Technology said one reason for the growing popularity of smartphones among older people might be the fact that they have bigger screens than previous mobiles.
Speaking to BBC News, he said: “As older people’s eyesight deteriorates, they are easier to view, and they have louder speakers too.
He added that smartphone software has also become easier to use in recent years, with several mainstream Android manufacturers offering streamlined versions of their app launchers aimed at elderly people.
Similarly, he noted that Apple’s iOS operating system also have a lot of built-in accessibility features.