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People in 40s hop on smartphone bandwagon: report

The average age of new smartphone owners has risen, according to a recent report.

A report entitled “Mobile divide in the smartphone era,” recently announced by KT’s DigiEco and the office of research affairs at Yonsei University, said that the portion of new smartphone users in their 40s has jumped to 24.7 percent in November last year, from 11.6 percent earlier in May.

The percentage is higher than the 23.9 percent new smartphone owners in their 20s, and the 24.2 percent who were in their 30s. The study was conducted on those who have been using smartphones for less than six months.

When looking at the bigger picture, those in their 20s and 30s took up more than 77.1 percent of those newly adapting to smartphones last May, but the percentage was reduced to 48.1 percent by November, the report said.

People in their 40s and 50s have picked up pace, climbing to more than 36.6 percent of the group in November, which is a sharp rise from 13.4 percent that was reached only six months ago, it said.

“People in their 40s have the financial ability, which is why the group feels less burden compared to the other age groups in purchasing a smartphone or paying the cost for smartphone monthly pay plans,” it said. “They are also socially impacted to use a smartphone since an increasing figure of their friends or colleagues are getting their hands on the gadget.”

The report also pointed out that the low-tier smartphones also contributed to the rising number of smartphone users, but also said that consumers were often left with no other choice because 70-80 percent of mobile phones available for purchase were smartphones.

The total number of smartphone owners in Korea has topped 15 million, indicating one in three people owns the trendy gadget.

By Cho Ji-hyun (sharon@heraldcorp.com)
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