Old folk and feature phones


How long have you used a feature phone for? graph of japanese statisticsMobile Marketing Data Labo recently published the results of a survey into feature phone usage by the senior generation.


Over the 16th and 17th of June 2015 1,110 people aged sixty or older completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographics were given, but all were feature phone users.

Here’s some random senior fiddling with his flip-phone:


Research results

Q1: How long have you used a feature phone for? (Sample size=1,110, multiple answer)

Less than six months3.4%
Less than one year3.4%
Less than 18 months5.1%
Less than two years5.2%
Less than three years11.3%
Less than four years12.7%
Four years or more58.8%

Q2: How often do you use the following functions? (Sample size=1,110)

 Every dayOnce every 2 or 3 daysOnce a weekOnce a fortnightOnce a monthAlmost neverNever
Voice calls32.1%29.8%17.2%7.0%4.9%8.2%0.8%
Taking photos0.6%2.7%9.8%8.0%22.2%37.6%19.3%
Electronic money0.5%0.4%1.3%0.9%1.1%7.8%88.0%
One-seg TV1.2%0.5%1.9%1.4%3.3%17.8%73.8%

The following questions used a sample size of 1,106, dropping four people who used none of the three features voice calls, mail or photos.

Q3A: Who do you talk with? (Sample size=1,106, multiple answer)

Talking with spouse58.9%
Talking with children53.5%
Talking with work19.7%
Talking with grandchildren11.8%
Talking with others6.1%
Don’t use it1.8%

Q3B: Who do you exchange email with? (Sample size=1,106, multiple answer)

My children51.0%
My spouse41.0%
My work11.0%
My grandchildren7.2%
Don’t use it12.8%

Q3C: Who do you photograph, send them to? (Sample size=1,106, multiple answer)

My children19.3%
My friends14.7%
My spouse11.0%
My grandchildren9.6%
Other people, things25.0%
Don’t use it39.8%

Q4: What are you investigating most as your next phone? (Sample size=1,110)

Feature phone (to SQ)40.3%
Senior-oriented feature phone (to SQ)11.9%
Senior-oriented smartphone10.3%
Cheap smartphone5.3%
Don’t know12.3%
No plans to buy (to SQ)8.6%

Q4SQ: Why do you want to keep using a feature phone? (Sample size=674, multiple answer)

Easy to use74.9%
Cheap monthly bills69.0%
Can fold up flip-phone (compact)52.2%
Easy to talk45.1%
Physical buttons are easy to use35.6%
Easy to read screen21.7%
Long battery life20.5%
Has one-seg television feature5.9%
Has electronic cash feature3.0%

Q5: Are you interested in chat apps (LINE, etc)? (Sample size=1,110)

Currently using2.8%
Know about it, and interested in it11.4%
Don’t know about it, but interested in it9.3%
Not interested, don’t know76.5%
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