The silver generation is neglected by the US mobile market

Research show that American teens in the 16-19-year-old age range
spend more on their mobile phone bill – $68 a month – than any other age category. No surprise then if the US wireless industry is targeting handsets, calling plans and services at them.

But, argues Phil Dwyer in New Media Zero, getting and keeping teens won’t be a piece of cake. First, the competition for this demographic is fiercer than for any other, and they’re likely to be more discerning and more price-sensitive than other age groups. Driven by fashion and peer pressure, they’re also the least loyal consumers in the market.

In contrast, the ‘seniors’ market is being neglected by handset manufacturers and service providers. They know that the older the customer, the less they use their phone – and once they hit their 50s, usage drops like a stone. So why should they pay attention to greying consumers?
First, as the least penetrated age demographic, below 50%, they represent a big, untapped market . The population of 65-plus consumers is large and soon going to be swelled by a huge wave of baby boomers hitting retirement age.
Second, these subscribers are loyal. There’s a correlation between a subscriber’s age and their tenure with an operator: the older the subscriber, the longer the tenure.
Third, many of them are affluent.

No one in the US has attempted to address the particular needs of the ageing subscriber. No wonder then if they don’t use services which aren’t designed for them.


Related story: Mobile Teen Report in the US.