More than half of recent smartphone purchases were made by the over-50s, showing high-spec handsets are moving away from their traditional early adopter demographic.
According to new figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, older customers are opting for Samsung (36.6%) and Apple (23.4%) devices, rather than Nokia, which has a lowly 6.2% share of that demographic. Global consumer insight director Dominic Sunnebo said: 'The keenly-priced Samsung Galaxy Ace is the top-selling handset in this group. This fits with our analysis showing that ‘cost of handset’ is the top stated reason for handset choice in the over-50s category. Given the relative price sensitivity of this consumer group, we would expect to see Asian manufacturers such as ZTE and Huawei start to make big inroads in this market during 2012.'
The research, charting sales for the 12 weeks to 18 March, found 63% of over-50s browsed the internet, 57% use email and 52% download apps. Sunnebo said: 'As internet connectivity becomes ever more integral to consumers lives, regardless of age, so the desire for mobile internet increases. Our data tends to show that over-50s mobile use replicates much of what they do at home on their PC or laptop. In contrast, under-50s tend to use their phones and computers for different purposes.'
The report also found half of UK smartphone owners now own an Android device, as Samsung closes in on Apple's position as the leading smartphone manufacturer in the UK. Android has increased its share from 42.2% a year ago to 50%. Apple's iOS has increased its market share by almost half to 29.2%. However, Samsung is closing in on the manufacturer, with a 28.1% share of the UK market. According to the research, smartphones accounted for 74.4% of total sales during the period, meaning 52.2% of UK consumers now own a smartphone.
Editor: Graeme Neill