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Technology for the over 50s: Are Technology Companies Getting it Wrong?

Article by Fab after Fifty

technology for 50plus -

I dread the calls I receive from companies telling me that they have a technology product that I just ‘have to try’ on behalf of my readers. It usually involves a phone or tablet with big buttons or limited features.

Speaking from personal experience it would take a lot for a technology company to create a product especially for the ‘over 50s’ to attract my friends and I away from our smartphones and ipads. Although I can see why this technology might be attractive to my parents generation. Having said that a friend has just bought her 80 year old mother an ipad for Christmas – she loves it – especially being able to talk to her grandchildren via Facetime!

Is this another industry developing and marketing products with outdated perceptions of the 50plus generation?

Judith Bitterli, Chief Marketing Officer at AVG Technologies says:

“If you think I am being slightly too critical of the industry let me talk you through the latest ‘innovations’ designed to help us seniors ‘manage’ todays complicated tech. Samsung partnered with Age UK to create the Breezie, a tablet designed to help us love ‘later life’; while Kodak launched the IM5 to ‘simplify the smartphone experience for seniors’ – who couldn’t possibly handle the complexity of an iPhone!”

Are technology companies talking down to the over 50s?

We have a few stats from research with 50+ year olds in the UK that show they believe tech companies are talking down to them. Do let me know if this is a topic you think your readers would like to hear more on – happy to work with you to source case studies and additional stats from the raw data.

Why are tech companies shunning the over 50’s?

With research launched this month finding that the majority of over 50’s rate their mobile phone as critically important to their everyday life – Fab after Fifty takes a look at why ‘silver surfers’ – as we have been not elegantly named – continue to be patronised by tech giants!

We’re only mid-way through January but already we have seen a handful of tech launched to simplify the tech process for us ‘oldies’. Samsung told us that it worked with AGE UK on the ‘Breezie’ to help us “love later life”, and Kodak announced that the IM5 has been “designed for baby boomers and seniors” – a generation that couldn’t possibly handle the complexity of an iPhone.

With  half of over 50’s in the UK feeling patronised by big technology companies we speak to women that defy the stereotype and ask them why tech companies are continuing to shun the over 50’s.

Research Findings

AVG Technologies research with 6,000 over 50’s found that:

  • 50% of over 50’s in the UK feel patronised by big technology companies
  • 39% felt they were being spoken down to
  • 32% felt those of a certain age (50+) are painted with the same brush by tech companies
  • When asked to rank the importance of technology in their everyday lives on a scale of one to five (with five being critical), 54% rated four and five


What are your thoughts?




Fabafterfifty.com. Redefining 50. Celebrating the best half of our lives!

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  1. gill

    January 22, 2015

    My internet connection has gone down twice in the last week, all day last Thursday, and 4 hours on Sunday night. My reaction to that was more akin to a sulky teenager than a humm…. mature woman. I love new technology and its only funds that prevent me having every new tech gizmo that ever hits the shops. Maybe the term ‘older people’ should start at 80 and not 50 then they might stop getting it wrong.

    • Ceri Wheeldon

      January 22, 2015

      They seem to consider us ‘old’ far too soon Gill !!

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