Women Are Above-Average Users of Smartphones and Tablets

March 7, 2019

This article is included in these additional categories:

Connected Device Comparisons | Demographics & Audiences | Digital | Mobile Phone | Social Media | Tablet | Video | Women

While the stereotype may be that men are more addicted to gadgets – indeed, electronics was the favorite shopping category for men in the last Holiday period – new data from Nielsen illustrates that when it comes to using mobile devices, women are in the lead.

Based on an index of handheld device usage, women spend 4% more time using an app or surfing the web on smartphones than do men. For tablets, the picture is even more pronounced, with an average of 6% more time spent.

However, the exact size of this lead does differ depending on usage. For example, men and women are equally placed when it comes to using a smartphone to stream audio, which is seeing growth in the market overall – driven by formats including digital radio, music and podcast listening. But on a tablet, women spend 17% more time listening to these streaming services.

There’s a similar picture for video usage – women spend just 1% more time on smartphones for this purpose, but 16% more on tablet.

But regardless of which mobile device is being used, time on social networking is higher for women on both smartphones (+12%) and tablet (+10%).

These differences are worth noting for advertisers. As shown in MarketingCharts’s Purchase Influencers Report [available to purchase], women are also typically more likely to have noticed advertisers when using social media, and are more likely to attribute purchases to social media ads. In particular, younger Millennial women also tend to have higher purchasing power and aren’t afraid to put that to use.

About the Data: Smartphone and tablet usage data comes from Nielsen’s Media Pulse study which examines device use across gender and racial demographics.

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