Mobile device ownership

Between October and December 2010, W2C ran an online survey via the MMU student portal asking students to help the university shape its mobile development priorities by answering questions about devices owned, usage of those devices and priorities for mobile content. High level summary stats from that survey were published as an RSS feed on the right hand side of this blog and survey data informed our interpretation of 100 device-led interviews we carried out through W2C.

Recently, to support some equal opportunities work, we were able to match survey responses against age range and gender categories to give us greater insight into variety in need across our diverse student community. Our sample is inevitably biased towards users of technology as it required students to follow a link from the student portal, however for a subset of our sample (964 of 982) we have been able to see how device ownership varies with gender and broad age ranges.

N % of sample Android Blackberry iPhone iPod Touch
F.<20 230 24% 7% 26% 9% 34%
M.<20 178 18% 11% 18% 22% 35%
F.20-29 246 26% 6% 18% 16% 22%
M.20-29 174 18% 11% 18% 26% 34%
F.30-39 41 4% 2% 15% 20% 22%
M.30-39 40 4% 13% 10% 13% 20%
F.40+ 28 3% 4% 11% 11% 14%
M.40+ 26 3% 4% 4% 23% 8%
2010 mobile device ownership by age range and gender
2010 mobile device ownership by age range and gender

Interpretation of this data must be done with caution. The sampling strategy meant that respondents were not representative of the institution as a whole. Addition of percentages implied by the graph is misleading as 164 students had an iPod Touch and a smartphone. Nonetheless, the graph draws attention to some interesting phenomena:

  • Blackberry was particularly popular with females under 20
  • iPhone was particularly popular with males over 40
  • Android was a lot more popular amongst 20-40 year males than females

We hope to repeat this kind of analysis with subsequent surveys as it provides a useful reminder of diversity in device ownership and hints at the importance of cost and social norms in device ownership decisions.

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