Last night, while I was showing my wife some of the bugs I’d found in the Droid I’m trialling at the moment (a blog post on that will come later for sure), she said something very insightful. She pointed out that of all the phones she had used over the years, the only ones she ever liked were Nokia. She went from S40 phone, to Samsung feature phone, to the superb N82 and currently she’s using the Satio which I talked about in a previous blog post.
Now let’s remember something. Mobile phones are one of the most truly democratic pieces of technology in history. Everyone needs one, women just as much as men. That’s why the number of subscriptions runs in the billions – approaching the overall world population.
In the smartphone geek circle we have a fundamental problem though – we’re almost exclusively male. Being generous I’d estimate the split at 95%/5% (I’d love to see some real figures if anyone’s willing). While the split between the rich western world and the emerging markets is oft-documented in the blogosphere, the split between arguably a more widely differentiated demographic is hardly ever talked about. The split between male and female.
I’m going to refuse the temptation to hypothesise about the difference in tastes here, because I’d probably be wrong, and that’s not my point. It’s merely that this split should be recognised. Surely women don’t want precisely the same things from their smartphones as men do?
So some questions:
- Though the blogosphere is extremely biased towards male smartphone users, what is the demographic split for actual smarphone use?
- What are the preferences of female phone users? (I said ‘phone’ here because the tastes of smartphone users often don’t reflect overall tastes)
As I said before, I don’t propose to have the answers to these questions, but I do think they need to be answered in order to better understand the future of the smartphone market.