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Over 55s Turned Off By Smartphones

Smartphones may well be all the rage, but the industry is failing to tap into the ‘silver surfer’ market, a leading expert warns.

Smartphone users are set to rocket from 20 million to 50 million by 2015 and many UK mobile network providers are currently offering cheap contracts to consumers with free smartphone handsets, something that is causing a surge in the demand for Android phones.

Research by price comparison website uSwitch claims that there are over 800,000 deals currently giving away a smartphone for free, however, most mobile phone manufacturers are ignoring the needs of older customers.

“Smartphones are mainly targeted at tech-savvy youngsters and despite growing interest from older people, they are often perplexed by jargon like Android, Symbian and 3G HSDPA,” says Richard Cappin of mobile phone comparison website

“The most frequent question I am asked, and always by older people, is which is the simplest phone that does all the snazzy stuff without the fuss.”

Dennis Juul Poulsen, business director of Tweakker, a mobile internet connectivity company, agrees that there is a growing demand for a mobile phone for older people.

“Older users are looking for features such as larger screens and user-friendly keyboards,” he says.

“In short, the perfect superphone of the future is a super-clever, feature-rich phone that’s easy to use.”

Older People Online

Although marketers like to class the over-50s as relative newbies when it comes to technology and taking on new things, in the years ahead we will have to seriously rethink this view.

For example, two of the most famous ‘tech innovators’ in the world are now over 55: both Steve ‘Apple’ Jobs and Bill ‘Microsoft’ Gates are both 56 years old.

A Mobile Market Trends UK survey has found that the over 55s are now the second-fastest growing user group online and 45-64 year olds are now the second largest group of mobile phone users.