Smartphone ownership levels stall

The number of smartphone owners has remained virtually unchanged over the last six months, according to research by YouGov.

The research showed that 35% of those surveyed owned a smartphone, while six months previously the figure was 33%.

It was suggested that age played a role in this, with only 14% of smartphone owners being over 55, while 48% of non-smartphone owners were over 55. YouGov suggested that this group needed to be targeted in order to increase sales.

Russell Feldman, associate director for technology and telecoms consulting at YouGov, said: “The challenge for the industry is to better explain the benefits of smartphone ownership to current rejecters, notably older age groups and women. This is an online survey and respondents are typically regular internet users but many haven’t taken the step to accessing the internet on their mobile phones.

“Apple has achieved buoyant iPad sales with women and older age consumers, not traditionally considered as groups behind the technology adoption curve. However, Apple has highlighted that a tech product can achieve high take up with any demographic if the proposition resonates with them. 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.”

The research showed that Blackberry, Apple and Samsung made more sales to women than men, while HTC and Nokia appealed more to men.

However, it was not all bad news, as 34% of non-smartphone owning respondents said they would get a smartphone at their next upgrade opportunity, and 24% of these respondents being over 55.

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