Smartphone usage by Indians: Women love to Chat, Men love Apps


Last week, Google did a survey with Ipsos which showed that percentage wise there were more active smartphone users in India than in US. Now, information and media giant Nielsen used ‘smartphone metering technology’ to survey smartphone usage habits of Indian men and women. Nielsen Informate Mobile Insights throws light on how men and women respondents in India are using their smartphones.

While it may be hard to believe, the average smartphone user in India clocked 81 hours of smartphone usage in March 2012. That’s more than two and a half hours daily in a 31 day month.

It is also noted that women and men spend the same amount of time on their smartphones. So the notion that Indian men are more gadget friendly than their female counterparts is definitely a thing of the past.

Smartphone Usage 

However the difference between the usage trends of Indian men and women is quite evident. Men spend 50% more time than women to surf the internet via their smart phones. This may very well be a blaring cue to online advertisers, hinting at the higher probability of smartphone using males looking at their advertisements on websites than females.

Men are also more likely to install and download apps. In the survey, men respondents downloaded an average of 16 apps during the month while the women downloaded 11. A characteristic male trait is to refrain from asking for directions. Apparently to avoid doing the same, men seem to prefer using the Google Maps app to look for directions. So much so, 45% of men accessed the app as compared to 32% of women.

At 29% of total usage, women spent most of their time using smartphones to access online apps.

On the contrary, men only spent 16% of their time using online apps. Aptly titled gossip queens, Indian women spent 4 times the time men spent on Instant Messaging (IM) apps.

So much so, women respondents spent on an average of 32 minutes per day using IM apps as compared to 8 for men. These apps include but are not limited to WhatsApp Messenger and Google Talk. Social Networking apps came in at second place but their usage in terms of time spent per day was nowhere near to IM apps.

app usage in India

A finding that didn’t come across as very surprising was that women spent 3 hours more on calls during the month than men. From 81 hours, women spent 20 hours on calls as compared to approximately 15 for men. This means that 25% of the total smartphone usage during the month by women is for calls and messages as compared to 19% for men.

It would be fair to draw a conclusion from Nielsen’s survey that men are more likely to use their smartphones to surf the internet and use utility driven apps like Google Maps. On the other hand, women are more likely to use their smartphones to communicate, use IM and social networking apps, and spend more time talking on the phone. So, women like to chat, what’s new?

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  3. dips says

    I like the stats in the article (thanks Nielson), but to draw ‘humorous’ prejudices to support conclusions (like “aptly titled gossip queens”) somehow detracts from the content.
    I would request you to leave the jokes aside, and report the facts. A single mention is tolerably fine, but a series of negative jokes are not.
    (Hint: Women love to chat, men love apps is perfectly OK)

    Apart from that, summarising that online advertising targeted to men may be more helpful because they spend more browsing time on their mobiles is just wrong on so many levels! Please remember that the primary mode of browsing still remains through a computer, not mobile.
    “This may very well be a blaring cue to online advertisers, hinting at the higher probability of smartphone using males looking at their advertisements on websites than females”

  4. Alkesh says

    Same as in social life…:)

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