The Gender Divide as Seen Through Phones, Games and Apps

A breakdown of male versus female mobile usage.

By on June 6, 2013

More than 50 percent of cellphone owners have smartphones, a number that is sure to grow over the next few years. But how do we use those phones, and is there a difference between the behavior of women and men?   

A majority of women surveyed by Wired Magazine in the UK placed higher priority on features like camera resolution, ease of use, size and weight when choosing a phone. A majority of men surveyed considered the operating system and network capabilities of a phone as deciding factors in their purchases, highlighting different approaches when shopping in retail stores or online. 

A recent study found that both men and women take advantage of free games, with 82 percent of women and 72 percent of men saying they prefer to play free games. However, when looking at in-game spending, the men surveyed typically spent on average $13.38 a month, whereas women spent only $4.84 a month on average.

When it comes to apps that are not games, women are more likely to spend more. In fact, women not only install more paid apps, but they purchase apps that cost 87 percent more than the apps men purchase. The women surveyed bought and used more social media, news, productivity, lifestyle and book apps, while the men chose to buy and use more business, game, navigation, travel, and health and fitness apps.

In 2013, it is expected that smartphone apps will be downloaded 56 billion times. With each new app downloaded, will the mobile gender divide expand or disappear? Only time will tell.

For those looking for a few new apps, check out this list of the Top 20 Must-Have Apps.