I came across a very interesting article on the website of The Daily Toreador, the Texas Tech University newspaper, yesterday, which kind of echoed some thoughts I’d been having of my own. The article offers the theory that one possible surprise demographic that could take to the iPad is the elderly, and more specifically those elderly people who have previously been wary about getting a computer.
The article goes on to mention that The Tech Guy, Leo Laporte, recently discussed the matter with a caller on his syndicated radio show stating that the iPad could well be a surprise hit with the elderly. Obviously there are plenty of extremely tech-savvy elderly people out there, so it’s not them that this applies to. No, I’m thinking of people like my own elderly parents who have been extremely reluctant (to put it mildly, they actually think “dongle” is an offensive word! I’m not kidding) to even attempt to start using computers, but who want to send the odd email to relatives abroad, browse the internet, or even perform simple word-processing tasks. And once they get started, who knows? The world would be their oyster.
My parents get very frustrated that many areas of everyday life, such as booking rail tickets for example, are now done almost entirely over the internet. Of course I’m happy to do all those things for them, but what about those elderly people who don’t have children or relatives with access to a computer who are willing to help them? They are cut off from a massive part of life. I think the majority of them could handle the iPad with ease, and I’m already thinking about talking to my parents about getting one. They’re already fascinated by playing games like Trivial Pursuit on my iPod touch, so I’m sure a larger version of that would be much more appealing to them than a computer. As the Daily Toreador article also concludes, Apple would be very wise indeed to think about targeting this demographic. Imagine the social impact it could have – amazing, and very exciting! I’m sure Apple has already thought of it though, they don’t miss a trick!
By Maura Sutton