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Experts: Smartphones, tablets should be more popular among seniors

November 7, 2012

Smartphones and tablets provide seniors with many benefits, including apps that can help them find discounts and manage their financial information. Yet despite an early increase in their use among older adults, recent findings from the Pew Research Center suggest their popularity has stalled.

The results show that smartphone use in the 65 and over crowd has not surpassed the 11 percent mark, with only about 13 percent of seniors using tablets. Industry analysts say there are a number of reasons why fewer seniors are purchasing tablets and smartphones, including concerns about being targeted by advertisers, youth-oriented designs and confusing usability.

There are a variety of ways for electronic manufacturers to increase their appeal to older users, according to AARP. One of the best ways is for them to highlight the important role that devices such as iPads or smartphones can play in senior living. For instance, service providers may want to reach out to older adults and show them that apps can offer everything from travel tips to health advice. Additionally, with useful tools such as voice-activated search or directions from Google, there are countless areas where seniors can use smartphones and tablets.