Women More Active on Smartphones

compete-smartphone-usage-habits-by-gender-dec11.gifWomen appear to be more likely to perform a range of activities on their smartphones than men, according to data released in November by Compete. The leading activity across both genders is text messaging, performed by 98% of female and 92% of male smartphone owners. Greater differences emerge among other activities, though, with women more active accessing social networking sites (79% vs. 68%), playing games (76% vs. 66%), sharing photos/videos (73% vs. 65%) and conducting financial transactions (60% vs. 48%).

Men take the lead in relatively less popular activities, more likely than females to watch streaming content (42% vs. 35%) and make dinner reservations (29% vs. 24%).

Men Do Less, But Want More

compete-smartphone-feature-use-by-gender-dec11.gifAlthough men appear to be less active on their smartphones, they are more likely to designate a range of features as “must-haves” in their next device purchase. While women are slightly more likely to want a long battery life (82% vs. 81%) and a camera/video camera (81% vs. 79%), the only other features among the 18 identified that a higher proportion of women desire than men are personal email access (65% vs. 64%) and a suite of pre-installed games (17% vs. 9%).

By contrast, men show a clear preference for a range of features, including: Wi-Fi internet access (74% vs. 57%); a high quality screen (67% vs. 55%); a music player (52% vs. 41%); a QWERTY keyboard (48% vs. 37%); an integrated app store (44% vs. 33%); access to a 4G network (40% vs. 26%); and corporate email access (23% vs. 8%).

Women Increase Adoption Lead

53% of smartphone owners in Q2 2011 were female, marking a 7% point share increase from Q2 2010, when men dominated the market. According to Compete, women started adopting smartphones in greater numbers sometime in early 2011: although they represented just 41% share of smartphone ownership in Q4 2010, that figure rose to 51% in Q1 2011 and stood at 53% in Q2.

According to November data from Nielsen, multicultural women in the US are highly connected to smartphones: more than 3 in 5 African American, Hispanic, and Asian American women have a smartphone in their household, compared to just one-third of Caucasian women.