A new survey by AdMob shows that Android attracts more male users than other mobile platforms. What gives?
Bonnie ChaFormer Editor
Bonnie Cha was a former chief correspondent for CNET Crave, covering every kind of tech toy imaginable (with a special obsession for robots and Star Wars-related stuff). When she's not scoping out stories, you can find her checking out live music or surfing in the chilly waters of Northern California.
When it comes to smartphones, men love them some Android; but women, well, they're finding love elsewhere. That's what a new study by AdMob would have you believe, anyway.
For its January Mobile Metrics report (PDF), AdMob conducted an opt-in survey of consumers using iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, and Palm WebOS devices to find out how they interact with applications. In doing so, it also found an interesting gender gap when it comes to the Android platform. As you can see from the chart, the split between men and women isn't great when it comes to the iPhone, iPod Touch, and WebOS. However, when it comes to Android, 73 percent of users are male, while only 27 percent are women.
Granted, AdMob's survey is limited to its network and doesn't even include other operating systems, but for the sake of argument, let's just go with it. Why are women so anti-Android? As Gizmodo points out, some might be quick to say that the OS is just too geeky or technical for women. Puh-lease. I know men tend to be the ones who lust after and purchase a lot of the tech products out there, but women love their tech gadgets too. And it turns out, we can figure out how to use them too (gasp!). Plus, I don't think the "geekiness" of Android is a gender-specific issue. When compared to the other platforms, Android's interface feels more technical, whether you're a male or female.
What else could it be then? Well, Gizmodo, as well as ReadWriteWeb, offer another, more believable explanation: All the marketing for Android devices has been skewed toward men. Take Verizon's commercials for the Motorola Droid as an example, which featured images of robots and stealth bombers. Take that and compare it with the ads for the Palm Pre Plus, which were marketed as a device for moms. I'm not sure if you can find a more effeminate name for a smartphone than Pixi.
Now, I love robots (slightly obsessed, to be honest) and all the suspense and action, but those commercials don't exactly draw me in or make me want to get the Droid. (That said, neither do the Pre Plus commercials; I find them offensive, actually.) However, I do love Android. I've been using the Nexus One for the past few weeks. Aside from the virtual keyboard, which if you know anything about me, you then know I prefer physical keyboards, I have no major complaints about it. Android meets all of my needs and then some.
So to all my fellow tech-loving ladies out there (men, you can chime in too). What are your thoughts? Is this survey off base? Does Android really not appeal to you and if so, why? Or is this all a result of marketing?