Jonathan Jensen is back with his weekly contribution — this time, a little later than normal (Jonathan’s going to be publishing on most Thursdays). He’s focusing his attention on the elder generation this week — an oft overlooked subject, but an increasingly important one.
Over to Jonathan…
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In my quest to understand how Normobs use their mobile phones I decided to look at the older generation. It seems that even within this customer segment there is a wide variation in how phones are used. For this analysis I decided that two Grannies would be my user sample! Not sure if they’re representative but they’re certainly different.
One of them, we’ll call her Granny A, tends to keep her handset switched off in her handbag. Apparently she keeps it switched off because no one ever calls her on it. But then they wouldn’t would they if it’s never on! Sheâ€™s also concerned that the battery will run down but thatâ€™s why they came out with chargers isnâ€™t it? But she does find it useful to have with her when she’s out and about; perhaps walking the dog. However, when sheâ€™s away on holiday she turns into a text demon. So, she can do it if she puts her mind to it!
Now to be fair, part of the reason for Granny A not keeping her phone on all the time is the rubbish mobile coverage in her Sussex village. I’ve checked out all the operators there and it’s virtually impossible to get a signal. If you climb onto the roof you might get lucky. You would think that 23 years after the first cellular networks launched, coverage would have ceased to be an issue in all but the most remote parts of the UK (Sussex is not exactly remote). What would make a difference here? Femtocell devices (to provide high quality in-building coverage at home); but theyâ€™ve got to be easy for people to buy and use.
Next, we’ll turn to Granny B. Now Granny B is seriously connected! Her handset rarely leaves her side and she is texting on and off all the time to friends and family, from the UK to Australia, making a significant contribution to Vodafoneâ€™s bottom line! Not many calls, she tends to use a landline there. However if you want to contact Granny B you know you’ll reach her wherever she is.
So both Grannies see text messaging as the primary use for a mobile phone. Landlines are for voice and SMS is the mobile USP for them. Their adoption of mobile has been driven by its ability to offer a new communications medium, rather than a straight fixed to mobile voice substitution.
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Fascinating. Thanks Jonathan! You can find more from Jonathan at Sevendotzero.
It really does fascinate me as to what causes some older people to adopt new technology whilst others tend to shun it. What does your granny do, mobile-wise?
Mine as a handset — Vodafone that I bought her a few year ago and, to the best of my knowledge, she hasn’t actually taken it out the box!