Hm, maybe those Droid commercials chastising "princess phones" really worked. According to an AdMob opt-in survey, 73% of Android users are male, that's nearly three-fourths of all Android users and considerably more than the iPhone and webOS platform which both have an ever so slightly more male userbase.

So the question is, why does Android trend male? Is it because it's nerdy and geeky? And if so, is it because there are more nerdy and geeky males than nerdy and geeky females? Or is it because their most successful phone (the Droid) eschewed soft curves for hard lines? Or maybe it really is because of the marketing?

It's likely a combination of reasons and something Android should be aware of. But one thing we want to know, what do the Blackberry and Windows Mobile splits look like?

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A lot of Android users are Male

19 Comments

Not to dwell too much on stereotypes, but this does have a lot to do with how people choose things...

1) Lots of people don't even think about the OS. They think about the phone. Droid is a phone. myTouch is a phone. People often buy items based on how they are presented in marketing and lots of Android phones are marketed as powerful or customizable. Droid probably has the biggest ad push and it is all robots and explosions. While many women undoubtedly like these things there are a ton who (through genetic differences or learned gender roles) want something "girly" or less techie. Sad but true. People respond to the archetypes that items are marketed to.

2) On the other side, iPhone is marketed as simple and fashionable. It's the first time a lot of non-techies really heard of smartphones. Many of the folks I know who really love their iPhones had never owned a smart phone before. To play to some more stereotypes that may or may not be based in fact, women traditionally want something fashionable and not too techie. Not a judgment but an observation. That's not necessarily a negative thing. My girlfriend has twice the education I have and makes twice as much money as me. She's smart as hell and perfectly capable of figuring out an Android phone but it's the perception of time wasted dicking around with things that turns her off to smart phones in general. If I hadn't bought us both Palm Pres last June she would still be paying out the ass for a basic flip phone on Verizon.

Anyway tl;dr version: stereotypes may or may not be accurate but oddly enough, people still respond to them in marketing. Regardless of whether a woman can figure out an Android phone, they will still on some level respond to things marketed at them as fashionable and easy. Marketers know how to push our buttons.

I have not seen any other woman besides me with a droid or any other android phone for that matter around the city. Same goes for anything else tech related, like in my major Computer Engineering... or Computer Science... IT... etc

I'm sure the android thing will catch on eventually female wise in due time...

The funny thing is that we had a big party weekend at a cabin on a lake last month. There were maybe 20 people there and I saw two Heroes--both owned by decidedly girly girls.

I, on the other hand, have not seen many guys with Android phones. I know about 15-20 people who have Android phones and only three of us are guys, all the others are girls.

as far as the majorities go... gurls want what they see people with. guys want whats shiny new and cool. most girls want iphones and ipod touches cuz their favorite celebs have them or someone they know has it and likes it. guys want the phone that can that run the fastest smoothest while doin a million things at once. girls what simple and easy to use. guys want complicated so they feel accomplished when they figure it out. but to tell u the truth... most of the android users i kno... are female. however most of them dont go on tech sites lookin for stuff so they wouldve never seen that survey. i kno one guy with a G1 and a thousand girls. I know 3 girls with Droids and 50 guys. its all relative.

Biggest difference between men and boys is the price of their toys! I think we just adopt the latest and greatest quicker - look at how many Android products have hit the market in the last 6 months. I also think the style and slick iphone adds maybe draws some more women, not that men didn't buy bunches of them as well. My own wife started saying, "If I had an iphone I could ... blah, blah, blah". My response, "well babe, the phone you have can do all those things"!

That's interesting. I was just thinking about that the other day. I know only one other female with an android phone, and it's only because she got what me and 2 others had ( a g1) Why do I have android? because I'm a techie at heart, and like to have gadgets like that. and I like what Android offers. So, basically I must be one of the odd females out there.

It matters for marketing. If you are selling mostly to males, you may look at how to target females in the next ad campain to increase sales.

wife has a droid I don't I think the male droid thing has to do with solid metal body sturdy not gonna bust so easy

Verizon, T Mobile, Sprint and ATT care. Do you want to know why? Because next time a new potential customer walks in the store guess what that customer will be offered? If it's a guy then they will try to sell him an Android phone, if it's a girl then they will definitely not try to sell her an Android phone because of this research.

Based on my extensive research with my wife, I'd say this:

() Compared to an iPhone the Droid sends very definite "male" messages in its form factor, its weight, and an advertising campaign based on industrial robots. Come on!

() When "customization" appears to require an understanding of a multitasking operating system, it's no longer "customization;" it's "engineering."

() So now Verizon plans to introduce an android phone with a heavy emphasis on social networking with the "motoblur" interface. And what do they name the phone? "Devour!" Puhleeze.

The question is not why the android market is so heavily tilted toward the male gender; it's how on earth designers and marketers thought they'd attract women, at all.

Really? I started a new blog for women with droids: http://womenwithdroids.com because an online friend and I noticed how many women had and loved their Droids.

We've had no shortage of women interested, as shown by our growing follower count on twitter: http://twitter.com/droidwomen
and many of the women report having female friends that have Droids, or women that ask them where they got theirs.

When I look up "my droid" on Twitter or search for droid user photos on Flickr, I'd say around half of the posts are from women.

When was that AdMob survey done? I'm sure more early adopters were men than women, like many "geeky gadgets".

This is such a hard decision i love the Blackberry storm 2's click feeling and after trying it its like i cant live without it but android is so customizable i want an android phone with storm 2's click