App download rates, however, remain lower
Tablets have reached far beyond the ranks of early adopters and into the hands of older mobile adults across mature markets, according to research from Deloitte.
July 2013 research across several mature markets found varying levels of tablet ownership among mobile phone users, ranging from just 12% in Japan to 53% in Singapore. But in most cases, a breakout of mobile users ages 55 and older were within 10 percentage points of the average rate of tablet ownership in their respective countries.
And in a few places—Japan, Finland and South Korea—tablet ownership among over-55s vs. the total population was at or almost at parity. In Singapore, it was even higher.
Tablet penetration among these older users does not seem to be a sign of an overall increase in mobile-savviness to match the average. When Deloitte asked smartphone users about whether they had ever downloaded an app, for example, those ages 55 and up were significantly more likely than average to say they never had.
In Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, smartphone users ages 55 and older were at least twice as likely as the average to have never downloaded an app, and in no mature market studied were app adoption rates even.