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Bringing Women Into the App Economy

Smartphones, once the domain of besuited businessmen and rock stars’ PAs, are now smarter, sexier, more fun and accessible than ever. We are buying them in droves (more women than men bought smart-phones in the last 6 months) and raving about how email and instant messaging is changing our lives.  We surreptitiously stare over the shoulder of our fellow commuter using mobile phone applications, or apps, to plan their day, order groceries and avoid eye contact with fellow commuters by playing Angry Birds. The message is clear –  apps are changing the software landscape.

Smartphones, once the domain of besuited businessmen and rock stars’ PAs, are now smarter, sexier, more fun and accessible than ever. We are buying them in droves (more women than men bought smart-phones in the last 6 months) and raving about how email and instant messaging is changing our lives.  We surreptitiously stare over the shoulder of our fellow commuter using mobile phone applications, or apps, to plan their day, order groceries and avoid eye contact with fellow commuters by playing Angry Birds. The message is clear –  apps are changing the software landscape. Apps can change a woman’s life. Many women and men still have barren smartphones, though, which begs some questions. Who is downloading and using apps and, more importantly, who is being left out of the App Revolution? 

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Lady Geek conducted a survey with YouGov SixthSense to find out who is downloading apps and what apps make a real difference.   Women with smartphones were nearly twice as likely as their male counterparts to have never downloaded a SINGLE app.   This is surprising given the fact that apps are what has made the iPhone a revolutionary piece of kit.

But why is this? Why are women less active when it comes to downloading apps?

Many of these apps are very cheap or free and would seem to enhance the phone. Women told us that the choices of apps available are overwhelming.  The Apple App Store alone has more than 225,000 apps and is growing every day. A simple search for a to-do list app in the Apple App store yielded more than 300 results unfiltered by price or rating. With women being left to fend for themselves in the wild west of the app landscape, it is unsurprising that some are choosing to retreat. Many women do not think apps are relevant to them. They believe apps do not help them or enhance their lives. A plethora of fart-based apps lends some credence to this belief. Our research showed that the people who have one or two apps want more, but also want to be shown how an app will have a positive, however small, impact on their daily life.

Lady Geek TV Mobile App Show is our answer to this problem.  It’s an online weekly show that will put apps to task in the real world.   Each episode over the next 12 weeks will show viewers the very best of apps.   Our mission is clear: bring technology to women rather than expect them to hunt it out.  Join us in the App Revolution. Tell us your favourite app, your most useful app and your hated apps for our Walls of Fame and Shame. Watch and comment on the show here www.ladygeektv.com.  

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If you’d like a chance to win the weekly smart-phone give-away simply join the conversation on Facebook or follow the show on @ladygeektv

 

Methodology

For this survey, Lady Geek in conjunction with YouGov SixthSense ran a survey on YouGov’s monthly Oracle survey, which is sent out to all of YouGov’s 270,000 panel members. The survey was conducted throughout the month of February 2010. A total of 78,835 responses were received. It should be noted that results were not weighted and are not nationally representative.