Across Markets, Smartphone Penetration Skews Young

Smartphone penetration skews higher in younger demographics.

According to Nielsen’s research across 10 top smartphone markets, penetration is an average 22 percentage points higher among 16 to 24-year-olds than it is among those aged 45 to 64.

The penetration gap is not particularly surprising because young people tend to be early adopters of technology, and so are the low-hanging fruit of the smartphone market. The data points to potential hurdles in the next wave of smartphone adoption. Generally, older people will be in less of a hurry — and under less peer-pressure — to upgrade to smartphones and other new gadgets.

In countries with overall adoption above 50 per cent, this means that penetration, and consequently sales growth, will start to slow

However, Nielsen itself cautions against using its overall penetration numbers as representative of general market dynamics in some of the countries. For example, Nielsen’s numbers show that 66 per cent of Chinese consumers are smartphone users. However, Nielsen conducted its online surveys in urban areas, which are substantially wealthier and only represent about half of the country’s population. Similar issues exist in Russian and India.

Click here to view a larger version of this chart.     

Smartphone Penetration By Age

Photo: BII


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