We like to say that men and women are equal. Of course, in many ways they are but we also have to acknowledge that there are a lot of differences between the sexes. Those differences are particularly noticeable when it comes to consumer purchases. Smartphones provide a perfect example of that. The reasons for purchasing a smartphone and the features used on that phone vary widely between men and women. A recent survey about smartphone use conducted by Best Buy provides some interesting insight into the mobile phone differences between men and women.
Fear of Electronics and Confusion over Smartphones
It’s frustrating to see statistics about how women don’t like to deal with advanced technology. Nevertheless, that may play a key role in why men are more likely to purchase smartphones than women are. Nearly half of the women surveyed in the Best Buy study said that they didn’t own a smartphone yet because they don’t like shopping for electronics. Guys love their gadgets so they don’t seem to have this problem to nearly the same degree that women do.
Additionally, men seem more inclined to do their research into which smartphone to buy than women are. More than half of the women surveyed said that they were confused about which phone to buy. The number was considerably less for men. Perhaps guys are more knowledgeable about the best phones out there? Or maybe they’re just less inclined to admit that they don’t know which phone is the best one to get?!
Women like Reading Text on their Phones
The Best Buy survey seems to indicate that women are more interested in doing reading on their phone than men are. There were two key areas of the study that pointed to this. First was the fact that women are far more interested in using a phone’s text messaging features than men are. And second is the fact that women were the only ones in the survey interested in using a mobile phone to read books.
Text messaging is considered to be an important feature of most phones today. However, it’s a lot more important to women than to men. Nearly three fourths of the women surveyed said that text messaging was “very important”. In contrast, less than half of the men in the survey were interested in this feature as an important feature of mobile phones. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that men were far more likely than women (30% of men compared to 18% of women) to send a text that they later regretted!
Women are also interested in reading books on their cell phones to some degree. This actually isn’t a particularly important feature to people of either gender; only eight percent of the people surveyed said that this was something that they’d care about with a cell phone. However, all eight percent of those people were women.
Women Also Like Multimedia
The study offered some surprising results in regards to the gender difference regarding the importance of multimedia features on mobile phones. A lot of us think of these things are toys for men but women actually seem to care about most of them more than men do. Women were more interested than men were about a phone’s ability to take photos, listen to music and even play games.
Photos were the most important of these features with over half of the women in the survey saying that it was really important to them that their phone have a good built-in camera. Less than a third of men cared about this feature. This seems to indicate that smartphones with good cameras are more likely to appeal to women than to men.
Music was actually considered slightly less important to both men and women in this study than the phone’s camera was. This seems surprising considering that the majority of smartphone users will use their phone as an mp3 player. Nevertheless, only about one quarter of the men surveyed thought this was important. Women are apparently more interested in getting their mobile groove on since over forty percent of them look for this feature.
And you might think that men are more interested in mobile gaming than women are but that’s not true at all. A full five percent more women than men considered gaming to be an important feature of a smartphone. This could be due to the fact that a lot of smartphone games are simple flash games which tend to appeal to women more than men (who are more interested in multiplayer games).
Men Still Won’t Ask for Directions
Many women heaved a sigh of relief when GPS was born because they thought it was the answer to the problem of being lost with a man who refuses to ask for directions. Although this may be the case to some degree, it appears that women are still more likely to ask for directions than men are even when the device they’re asking is simply their mobile phone. Over half of women believe it’s important to be able to get directions from their phones while less than a third of the men surveyed feel this way.
Men May Be More Interested in a Phone’s Business Features
It is possible that men are more interested in a phone’s business and productivity features than women are. The survey indicated that nearly half of all men believe that it is important for a smartphone to have a calendar application that links back to their personal computers. The number of women who felt this way was slightly smaller. Since this is typically an application used for business, this could indicate that men are still more likely than women are to be using their smartphones for work.
So What Does This All Mean?
The results of this study indicate something really interesting – that men are more likely to buy smartphones but women may be more likely to think through the purchase and to make a better phone choice in the end. The results show that men are more likely than women are to purchase smartphones and to feel comfortable with their purchase since they enjoy the process of buying electronics. However, women are more likely to take an interest in reviewing all of the different features of their phones before purchase (including multi-media features and text features). Perhaps this means that men and women should be doing their phone shopping together!