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Boomers: Smartphone’s Next Mass Audience

March 31, 2010Sparxoo

Can you imagine your parents scheduling doctors appointments and managing medications on an iPhone or Blackberry? It’s not a far-off reality. Smartphones empower Boomers to better manage health situations and enhance their connection with their businesses, among many other life functions. Approximately 80 million Baby Boomers, with nearly $4.6 trillion in buying power by 2015, will be the tipping point for the smartphone market. Surely, if Boomers are not on iPhones and Blackberry’s today, they be will tomorrow.smartphone_subscribers

Boomers control more than 83% of consumer spending and is expected to surpass $4.6 trillion by 2015. Although Boomers make up only 19.6 percent of all touch-screen users and 21.1 percent of smartphone users today, as they seek life-management tools in smartphones, expect sales to soar. Lisa E. Phillips, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, “Boomers and Mobile Usage,” points out “Boomers are underrepresented among smartphone users but are becoming more interested in the devices.” The catch for Boomers is not just owning the smart phone, but understanding the values of its features and how it can become integrated into their daily lives.”

mobile_uses_ageSo why should Boomers jump on the smartphone bandwagon? Business and health. As Boomers work beyond retirement age, they are using smartphones to stay connected with their businesses. “The business aspect of smartphones should appeal to the many Boomers who say they plan to continue working after retirement age,” said Phillips. Blackberry’s, in particular, are popular among Gen X business owners and can also meet the needs of business-oriented Boomers.

Smartphone apps can also empower Boomers to maintain healthier lifestyles. For instance, the Epocrates app is a resource for drugs information, including doses, adverse reactions, pricing, and pill images alongside robust medical calculators. More specifically, Diametic which helps patients manage diabetes to record blood sugar levels and insulin doses. These are two of thousands of iPhone apps that empower users to take control of their health.

Already, the majority of Boomers consider their mobile phone a necessity. Once the majority (or 40 million) Boomers seek value in smartphones, it will be a critical link to business and health — just as text messaging is essential for teens. Smartphones are now well established in the marketplace, which should help to convince the portions of the boomer cohort that are not early adopters.” Indeed, as Boomers feel more comfortable with mobile devices, smartphones are the next step,” writes Phillips. While Boomers are typically late adopters in technology, once they find value in the smartphone market, expect sales mobile devices and content to skyrocket.

To read more mobile trends, visit our 2010 Mobile Trend Report.

Image by Flavio Takemoto from Stock.Xchng