The number of people in their 50s and 60s who owned "smart" devices sharply climbed this year, mirroring the growing penetration of smartphones and tablet PCs in South Korea, a report showed Thursday.
A total of 46.8 percent of people in their 50s owned smartphones or tablet PCs this year, up nearly five-fold from 9.5 percent in the previous year, according to the report by the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) and Korea Internet Security Agency.
The annual report was conducted on 73,063 Koreans aged over 50 between July 1 and Sept. 15.
The comparable figure for those in their 60s also surged nearly eight-fold to 35.9 percent from 4.6 percent, according to the report.
Overall ownership came to 63.7 percent, more than doubling from 31.3 percent a year earlier.
Meanwhile, the report showed that an increase in smartphone and tablet PC users has also spurred Internet use among the elderly.
Among people in their 50s, 60.1 percent used the Internet, up from 57.4 percent in the previous year. The figure for those in their 60s also climbed to 38.5 percent from 35.9 percent, according to the report.
"It seems that a rise in smart device ownership led to an increase in Internet access among the elderly, who had been relatively isolated from Internet access," the KCC said. (Yonhap)