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Half of Older Mobile Users Now Own Smartphones

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Just over half (51%) of mobile phone owners over the age of 55 now have smartphones, up 10% from 1Q13, according to a recent report from Nielsen.

Overall, 70% of American mobile subscribers of all ages are smartphone owners, the analysis of 1Q14 survey data found. Moreover, smartphone penetration continues to grow, with 85% of recent buyers having selected a smartphone when purchasing their new handset.

The most popular operating system for US smartphones is Android (52% of all phones). Apple's iOS is the second most popular platform (42%), followed far behind by Windows Phone (3%), and Blackberry (2%).

Apple remains the largest smartphone manufacturer in the US, with 42.5% of smartphone owners using its devices.


Samsung is the second largest manufacturer (28.7% of all US smartphone handsets), and the most popular company that uses the Android platform. LG is the next most popular manufacturer (7%), followed by Motorola (6.8%) and HTC (5.7%).

Nokia's phones, which primarily use the Windows Phone platform, doubled market share over the past year (to 2% of all US smartphone handsets), surpassing Blackberry.

About the research: The report was based on data from Nielsen’s monthly survey of 20,000+ mobile subscribers aged 13+ in the United States.


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Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategy and content consultant. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. His experience includes working as a strategist and producer of digital content for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, and AOL.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Caroline Thu May 1, 2014 via web

    Question is, what are they using it for though. I think of my parents, both now in the 60's and have iPhone's but only use a small percentage of it's functions. Phone calls, emails, news. They are reluctant to use online banking as they don't feel it's safe.

    I'd like to know how to effectively target that age group through mobile as it would be helpful for one of the projects I work on.

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