Tech-savvy teens and young adults seem like the most common users of mobile devices, but new research from Deloitte suggests that an increasing number of older individuals may be interested in smartphones and tablets as well. According to the consulting group's "2013 Global Mobile Survey," people over the age of 55 are purchasing and using tablets in increasing numbers. 

"Historically, technology adoption among older consumers has been lower than average," states the report. "But there are signs the age group is catching up […] The penetration of tablets is only slightly below the average and adoption of smartphones is growing. With longer life expectancy, older consumers are likely to continue working, accumulate an ever-greater share of global wealth and be increasingly interested in technology."

One interesting finding from this report is that despite older individuals owning these devices, their engagement with them is low compared to younger age groups. The majority of the older Americans surveyed, said that they had never downloaded a mobile application. The study suggested that these people may have tried to download an app and found it too difficult. Some of the individuals polled said that they delegated the job of app discovery and downloading to a friend or relative. 

The number of people over 55 with mobile devices is growing at a pace not seen since the introduction of smartphones. Despite their limited use of these products, mobile advertisers should not ignore this population. Small businesses interested in exploring online marketing solutions should consider partnering with a firm like Key Media Solutions.