Industry Voices: Phone Market Overlooks Seniors
Still, there's an interesting phenomenon at play. Despite being largely ignored by manufacturers, seniors are increasingly embracing cell phones even if they have difficulty using them. In 2007, 59 percent of adults over 65 used a cell phone and last year the number jumped to 64 percent according to two different surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.
Clearly, seniors have interest in cell phones and that interest is increasing. Mobility is the main selling point. Cell phones offer seniors constant contact with family, friends and caregivers, regardless of location. And cell phones give them security during an emergency.
Some cell phone manufacturers have started to notice the senior market, but are not giving the population its due. They simply "dumb down" base models by adding larger numbers, or they attach pictures of older users in the marketing materials and give the phone a senior-friendly name. This approach is to the detriment of the consumer who is on an endless search to find a product that truly accommodates seniors' particular health challenges.