Industry Voices: Phone Market Overlooks Seniors
Today, the phrase "mobile phone" is a misnomer. Originally intended to make conversations portable, these devices have evolved into mini entertainment centers with cameras, music players and Internet access so people can text, Facebook, YouTube and Tweet their way through the day. It's an incredible technological evolution that gives people the ability to have constant engagement and interaction wherever they go.
But where does it leave America's 37 million seniors who have an entirely different set of needs? These are people who just want the simplicity, portability and safety of a cell phone so they can reach someone or be reached while they are away from home. Today's feature-rich devices with their microscopic buttons and tiny displays might work for the millennials, but these products are clearly not designed with the elderly in mind.
Simply put, seniors' concerns are largely overlooked by today's technology. If they want a cell phone, the salesperson usually reaches for a basic, low-end model. But these phones do not cater to seniors' specific needs the way a BlackBerry suits a businessperson or a Firefly appeals to young children. Seniors are the last frontier in the cell phone market and their increased cell phone usage gives both the mobile phone and consumer electronics industry reason to focus on this growing segment of consumers.