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Most Canadian seniors now use a cell but few have a smartphone: poll

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TORONTO - A majority of Canadian seniors now own a cellphone but only a small number have made the leap to using a smartphone, suggests a report by the Media Technology Monitor.

Researchers conducted telephone interviews with 6,014 anglophone Canadians in the spring and fall of last year to track how technology usage was trending, including among those in the senior demographic, which was defined as 68 and older.

About 61 per cent of the 774 seniors polled said they owned a cellphone, compared to 87 per cent of the younger respondents.

Only 13 per cent of the seniors owned a smartphone, versus 63 per cent of the other Canadians polled.

The seniors had a very slight preference for Apple's iPhone but BlackBerrys and Google Android devices were owned in similar numbers.

Only seven per cent of the seniors said they used their device to connect to the Internet (versus 54 per cent of the other respondents) and only two per cent tried social networking on their smartphone (compared to about a third of the younger smartphone users).

About 12 per cent of the seniors polled had a tablet, most commonly an iPad.

Other figures in the report:

— About 17 per cent of seniors said they sent text messages, compared to 73 per cent of the other respondents

— Seniors estimated they spent about 6.3 hours a week online, while younger respondents guessed they used the web for about 20 hours a week

— About 23 per cent of the seniors said they use social media, versus 68 per cent of younger users

— Of the senior social media users, about 87 per cent were on Facebook, while only about 17 per cent were on LinkedIn and nine per cent were on Twitter

The seniors' figures are considered accurate within 3.2 percentage points 19 times out of 20, while the numbers for the rest of the respondents are considered accurate within 1.2 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

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