Does Android have a "dude problem?"

Android is so heavily marketed to men that it has a "dude problem," claims Belinda Parma, founder of a marketing agency that specializes in offering advice to companies that want to sell to women. Parma claims that women stay away from Android phones, which is instead favored by "man-geeks." Is this for real, or just attention-grabbing hype?

Parma, who runs the Lady Geek marketing agency, conducted a survey with YouGov Sixth Sense of 78,835 people in the UK.

According to a press release about the results:

The survey highlighted that very few women know or care about what Android is or how it can benefit their lives. In fact, less than half as many women would choose an Android handset as their next phone compared to men.

- When asked which smartphone they would choose, less than 5% of women (25-39) picked a Google/Android phone compared to 11.4% of men in the same age band.

Parma is then quoted as saying:

"Android provides a perfect example of how not to market a platform to women, and so the Android experience has become irrelevant to more than half of the population."

There's one potential hitch, though: The press release hypes a Droidcon conference in the UK, and it notes that Parma will be speaking at the event. So it's clearly an attempt to grab attention.

Attention-grabbing stunt or not, is there some truth in what Parma has to say? The Androinica blog notes that an AdMob report back in January found that Android users have a higher percentage of men than users of other smart phones. The report (available here as a PDF), found that:

73% of Android users are male, compared to 58% of webOS users, 57% of iPhone users and 54% iPod touch users. The iPhone, iPod touch and webOS have similar gender distributions, with just over half of the users on all devices being male.

So does Android really have a "dude problem"? My instinct is that it's no longer the province of "man geeks," even if it was at one point. The AdMob survey is now nearly a year old, and was taken when Android was still largely in the "early adopter" phase, and men not uncommonly are early adopters. Android has now gone mainstream, and outsells iPhones. I would expect that by now, the male-to-female ratio of Android buyers is similar to that of the iPhone and other smartphones.

Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies