Friday, 8 July 2011

Student mobiles and the gender difference.....

A couple of months ago we carried out a survey of what mobile devices our students had, and what they used them for. Analysis still being done, but there were some interesting results. Some not surprising - 99.96% of students have a mobile, 92% have a laptop. 14% have an iPod touch, 10% a netbook, 7% a tablet or eReader.

In terms of phones, 56% have a smartphone (UK average is 35%),  and of the ones who don't 25% were thinking of upgrading to one in the next year. The main makes are iPhone (30%),  Blackberry (25%) and Android (23%). There's an interesting gender differene in ownership:

Men are more likely than women to own an iPhone or HTC, women more likely to own a Blackberry. Wonder why? Answers on a postcard please.

Laptops are mainly Windows (85%) and Mac (13%), with some Linux and dual boots making up the rest - mainly in the Faculty of Engineering. No women own Linux machines. :-)

Significant numbers of students said they didn't bring their laptops onto campus, the main reasons being the weight and bulkiness, and issues connecting to the wireless network. There was also a wireless issue with smartphones, with only 51% connecting them. Awareness seemed high, but the actual connection was an issue which is obviously something we need to look into. And, more women have trouble connecting than men. Is it because they find it harder, or is it because they've all gone out and bought Blackberrys?
The other gender difference was in confidence - men said they were more confident in using their equipment than women. Are they? Or do they just say so?

All interesting stuff, and I'm sure will spark some good debate.

10 comments:

andypowe11 said...

HTC = Android... slightly geeky appeal perhaps??

Blackberrys were popular because of good 'chat' support (that's why my kids bought them anyway). However... based on v. limited evidence from my house there will be a big swing to iPhone from BB next time you do the survey :-)

andypowe11 said...

Re: Or do they just say so?

Difficult to answer this without dropping into sexual stereotyping... but given that I've already done that in previous comment, I suggest the answer here is 'yes'.

Amy Llewellyn said...

Maybe women can see through expensive hype better than men which is why there is less Apple usage?

Gemma Tombs said...

Interesting study - thanks for sharing! As a Blackberry owner (but surrounded by iPhone/HTC owners, mostly female) I'm slightly surprised by your results. I do wonder if the cost of the phones is a factor in the results you've found, since when I got tied into my Blackberry contract a year ago they were far more affordable than iPhones. I wouldn't like to conclude that women automatically take cost into account more than men do, though.

(Another explanatory factor might be touch-screen vs keypad. Again, difficult to draw conclusions from mere supposition, though.)

Claire Cunnington said...

I think the Blackberry preference might be to do with messenger. I know an 11 year old girl who told me she had to have a Blackberry for that very reason. She said all the other girls had one.

Clare said...

I have long nails ...Although I love teh idea of a sexy iPhone I worry about getting an iPhone as I find it easier to use a phone that I can use my nails rather than fingertip to navigate - I have a HTC mine is not brill but I can use my nails

Phillip Fayers said...

The female students I know send more texts than the male ones - so maybe they are biased towards devices with real keyboards.

Anonymous said...

What was the sample size and response rate?

Claire Cunnington said...

It was a 9% response rate. Sent to 24,916 students.

Derek Traynor said...

The stat on the blackberry gender usage is fascinating!

Hilarious to think it could be a nails/buttons thing but not impossible:) As it happens the only BB friends I have are all female.