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Majority of S'pore seniors are Web savvy

Irene Tham on 04 Nov 2014

The Straits Times


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It is no secret that Singaporeans are addicted to their smartphones. Now it turns out the majority of seniors here are also avid Internet users, according to a global study released by Google.


The study found Singapore took the No. 1 spot for smartphone adoption, with 85 per cent of its population owning such a device. South Korea came in second at 80 per cent.


Also, 78 per cent of those aged 55 and older here access the Internet every day either via the traditional Web browser or smartphone apps, putting Singapore fifth in the world for having the most Internet-savvy seniors.


This is according to the Consumer Barometer published online, which provides an insight into Web consumption across 47 territories. It was based on face-to-face and online surveys with more than 128,000 respondents conducted by market research company TNS earlier this year.


Japan topped the chart for having the most number of people aged 55 and above who access the Internet daily at 94 per cent, followed by Israel (82 per cent), Hong Kong (80 per cent) and Canada (80 per cent).


Analyst Ryan Huang of Britain-based brokerage IG said the prevalence of smartphones with big, easily visible screens has contributed to this trend.


"Seniors are also getting more plugged in to keep pace with the rest of the family, including connecting with their grandchildren," he added.


The study also revealed that each Singaporean owns an average of 3.3 devices, including a smartphone, tablet and computer - one of the highest in the world after the Netherlands with 3.6 devices per person.


The use of the smartphone among Singaporeans is the highest at 85 per cent, followed by the computer at 74 per cent and tablet at 40 per cent.


Among the Internet and smartphone users here, their primary activities are photograph-taking and management, and setting an alarm, according to the study.


Senior analyst Clement Teo of US-based market research firm Forrester said the finding is not surprising, given that people here like to post their pictures on social networks like Facebook.


"People also sleep with their phones next to them, making the traditional alarm clock redundant," he said.


Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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