UK smartphone uptake stalls thanks to women and elderly

By Dawinderpal Sahota
14 Jul 2011 View Comments
Smiling old man on the phone

The uptake of smartphones in the UK has stalled, according to research published today, primarily due to the reluctance of women and the elderly to invest in the devices.

YouGov's Smartphone Mobile Internet Experience (SMIX) research reveals that, over the past two quarters, just over a third of adults (35 per cent) are using a smartphone, up just two percentage points on the previous quarter, when it stood at 33 per cent.

Despite smartphones typically costing more than traditional mobile phones, YouGov's research shows that gender and age are the principal barriers to purchase, rather than income.

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Only 14 per cent of smartphone owners are over 55 compared with almost a half of non-smartphone owners. Only 41 per cent of smartphone owners are women.

The report also revealed that some smartphone brands appeal to women more than others. For example, half of BlackBerry sales made to adults are to women, and Apple and Samsung also beat the industry average. HTC and Nokia, on the other hand, are brands that appeal significantly more to men than women, said YouGov.

"The challenge for the industry is to better explain the benefits of smartphone ownership to current rejecters, notably older age groups and women," said Russell Feldman, associate director for technology and telecoms consulting at YouGov

"Smartphone brands and retailers need to focus more on these groups, otherwise going forward, they will be dependent on selling new smartphones to existing smartphone owners looking to upgrade."

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