Sun, Jul 20, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Smartphone use up, especially among people over age 50

DIGITAL SOCIETY:Phone ownership among the over-50 set rose 10-20%, with nearly 60% of the total population owning one, and 25% a tablet

Staff writer, with CNA

Nearly 60 percent of Taiwanese aged 12 and older had smartphones as of last month, which marks a significant rise over the past nine months, according to the results of the latest survey on mobile device use released by a Taipei-based research institute.

About 12.25 million people 12 or older, or 58.7 percent of that segment of the population, had a smartphone, according to the survey conducted between May 16 and June 6 by the Foreseeing Innovative New Digiservices (FIND) center under the non-governmental Institute for Information Industry.

In the center’s previous survey, conducted in September last year, 51.4 percent of the respondents said they had a smartphone.

Meanwhile, the number of respondents owning tablet computers rose slightly to 25.4 percent, which translates to about 5.3 million people, up from 23.6 percent nine months earlier, the center said in a statement.

The survey also found that 20.4 percent of respondents above the age of 12 owned both a smartphone and a tabletor.

In an analysis of the survey’s results, the center found that the biggest source of growth in smartphone ownership over the past nine months came in the 50-and-over age bracket.

“That’s because smartphone consumption in the core consumer group aged 20 to 49 is reaching saturation,” an official with the FIND center said.

The number of smartphone owners in the over-50 group had grown by between 10 and 20 percent since the last survey, said the center, which is dedicated to the development of information communications technology.

The survey also found that South Korea’s Samsung overtook Taiwan’s HTC Corp over the past nine months to become the most popular smartphone in the nation, which Cheng attributed to a “significant” decrease in HTC users during the period, from 32 percent to 25 percent.

The five most popular smartphone brands in the first half of the year in Taiwan were Samsung, HTC, Apple, Sony and Xiaomi, the survey found, with Xiaomi, a Chinese brand, breaking into the top-five for the first time.

The survey was ased on 1,300 valid samples and had a margin of error of plus or minus-2.8 percent.

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