The Adoption, Use and Diffusion of Smartphones among Adults over Fifty in the UK
Smartphones are innovations that currently provide immense benefits and convenience to users in society. However, not all the users of society are accepting and using smart phones, more specifically, for this research study older adults (50+) are a demographic group displaying such an attitude. Currently, there is minimal knowledge of the reasons that older adults adopt and use smartphones. Bearing this in mind, this research study aimed to identify, examine and explain the adoption and usage of smartphones in the UK within the 50 years old and above population. For this purpose, a conceptual framework, a Model of Smartphone Adoption (MOSA) was formed drawing factors from the theories of Unified theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT), the Diffusion of Innovations theory (DoI) and Technology Acceptance Model 3 (TAM3). Seven variables from the theories were brought to consideration, which were Observability, Social influence, Compatibility, Effort expectancy, Facilitation conditions, Performance expectancy and Perceived enjoyment. For the research method, a quantitative approach was selected to examine and apply MOSA that involved the data collection method of an online questionnaire survey that resulted in 204 completed replies during the pilot phase of this research and 984 in the final phase. The collected data was analysed using SEM-PLS where the results found that six of the eight formed hypotheses were supported, and the factors of Compatibility, Effort expectancy, Facilitation condition, Performance expectancy and Perceived enjoyment were important for the adoption of smartphones. From these results, it was understood that older adults used smartphones because they have enough knowledge, time and money to use. They also think that smartphones are easy to use, provide benefits including enjoyment and are compatible with their lifestyles. In terms of usage, older adults frequently used the basic features of smartphones such as making a phone call, SMS, email, and browsing. Older adults are also likely to use their devices for seeking information about their health and for appointments with their doctors; however, from this research it was found that more than half of the 50 years old and above adults did not use smartphones for health and well-being purposes. The contributions of this research are viewed to be the identification and understanding of the factors that encourage or inhibit smartphones use within the older adult population. Secondly, this research can inform smartphone manufacturers and developers of factors pertinent for the design of computing devices and applications specific to silver surfers. Finally, this research can enlighten policy makers when forming decisions that encourage the adoption and use of smartphones within the older adult population. Regarding limitations, these existed in the form of finance and time. To overcome the limitations, this research recommends further studies that apply qualitative research and/or to provide a comparison between western and eastern countries.