According to a recent Neilsen survey, Americans in the age group of 55 to 64 are adopting smartphones at a faster rate than any other age group. While only 30 percent of this age group are using a smartphone, it is the rate of adoption that jumped in Q2 this year over last year.
So what is driving this trend? Is it the iPad ease of use that takes the fear away from using a smartphone?
Many news reports talk about seniors who have never used a computer before, have now entered the world of technology through the iPad. It's simplicity and ease of use is allowing seniors to stay in touch with family and grandchildren. They don't have to fear about screwing it up. It's point and click. But we also know that more seniors are now using social media. Social networking provides boomers and seniors with plenty of benefits such as joining groups, keeping up with current events and sharing photos with friends and family members.
According to a recent report by Pew Research, 32 percent of Baby Boomers aged 50 to 64, said they use a social networking site on a typical day. That's up sharply from 20 percent a year ago. So it's logical that this trend is now transferring to the smartphone platform so they can stay in touch. Those seniors using an iPad are likely to adopt an iPhone simply because there really is no new learning curve. And Siri on the iPhone just makes it a whole lot easier to use for technology challenged individuals as well as those that might have certain disabilities making it difficult to use the touchscreen.
Some reports show baby boomers will have an estimated $4.6 trillion in buying power by 2015, which could shakeup the smartphone market. It's time for marketers to recognize that smartphones and Apps connected to Facebook are a valuable way to target baby boomers. And there are some 80 Million in the U.S.!