World's First Smartphone Owner Is Now 75 Years Old

Patronize Current-Day Seniors at Your Own Risk


We don't know exactly who the first smartphone owner was, but we can picture the scenario. Back in the 1990s, smartphones were exclusive devices. The nomenclature was different and the term smartphone wasn't used, but the cross pollination between handsets and computing devices was well underway.

Products such as IBM's Simon Personal Communicator and Nokia's 9000 Communicator were around at the time. They were must-have devices for gadget geeks, but were high-end, exclusive phones intended for executives who had the budget for the hardware and the exorbitant connection fees. The devices may have been status symbols, but also proved their worth as productivity tools. There was suddenly no escaping the office.

Let's imagine that one of the first users of these revolutionary handsets was an oil executive in their early 50s. This trailblazing executive is now retired and into their 70s. We certainly know a few.

There's no fear of technology among these early users, but rather eager acceptance. This reminds us that the market for "senior" devices is becoming the market for devices. There is no difference. The window of opportunity for creating products which dumb down the technology for the older generation of users is closing fast.

Today's seniors are increasingly comfortable with bits and bytes and settings and set-ups. The 1990s are already a long time ago, but the skills from that decade are very portable into the current smartphone era.

Companies looking to cater specifically to older audiences should be aware that there's a growing risk of appearing condescending. Most generations have grown with technology and the tech knowledge clock doesn't reset at retirement.

There are, of course, physical revisions over time, particularly adjustments for eyesight (and rarely positives ones), but touch-pinch-zoom can suffice as a way to modify user-interfaces.

We're reaching a point when the typical grandparent has had a handset for over a decade. There's less of a chance of shocking a user into a simplified product or service plan. Retired users have become mainstream users. We're all in this together now.

This entry was posted on February 15th, 2017 and is filed under Devices. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Posted By Raghu Gopal On February 15th, 2017


Comments
(There are no comments yet)
Leave a Comment

Hot News

Team Tweets

CCS Insight
By launching its 205 Mobile Platform, targeted at feature phones, Qualcomm is exerting further pressure on MediaTek: https://t.co/N4vCU5G0Ql
Follow CCS Insight
Shaun Collins
@pbolt Indeed, a better question might be, where is the value in #5G?
Follow Shaun
Ben Wood
MMT SwissConnect smart strap at #Baselworld2017. MMT has a great technology platform and some great partners includ… https://t.co/icEB28YK8r
Follow Ben
Martin Garner
@Verizon + @AT&T pull @YouTube ads: https://t.co/axiKOgy30T. Philosophical challenge to free speech @Google, or AI ad placement to fix it?
Follow Martin
Geoff Blaber
.@instagram really needs to improve its ad targeting. Bud Light in my feed is nothing short of an insult https://t.co/bXFNsA2BTX
Follow Geoff
Nicholas McQuire
We're going to see more of these moves as the arms race in #AI evolves> Intel creates AI group, aims for more focus https://t.co/Mg6Aqwt3it
Follow Nicholas
Paolo Pescatore
Annoyed. Finally sat down to watch #F1 #AusGP #qualifying in #UltraHD and it failed to record #SkyF1 #4K https://t.co/00f3gawMqs
Follow Paolo
Marina Koytcheva
Proud to be part of a female team, growing in numbers and influence, for the best future of @CCSInsight . Way to go! https://t.co/Ygh1saTgl5
Follow Marina
Kester Mann
As Italy’s regulator probes Wind Tre over zero-rating, two recent CCS Insight Hotlines make useful background readi… https://t.co/tR4enMtc3h
Follow Kester
George Jijiashvili
@KDKlak @benwood @FrederiqueConst @Alpinawatches MMT was part of FC 6 mths ago. MMT was span out. FC is its partner: https://t.co/HW2QBgowqe
Follow George
Katie Taylor
Working on a new study on @SketchBookPro with the @AdonitNews Jot Touch stylus https://t.co/4m2Q9v0eUl
Follow Katie

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post
A Chipset to Bring 4G to Basics Qualcomm's 205 Mobile Platform Targets Emerging Markets The... Read more
Blog Post
Colt Seeks a Return to Its Roots Fibre Provider Unveils Targeted Strategy to Drive New Growth... Read more
Blog Post
Watch Out for Smart Timepieces As Baselworld Begins Many Watchmakers Can No Longer Ignore S... Read more
More blog

Latest Company News

Blog Post
Forecast Reveals Steady Growth in Smartwatch Market Market to double over next four years, reaching 86 million u... Read more
More news