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UK Males the Biggest Mobile App Fans

Men in the UK like mobile apps—and their privacy

January 13, 2014 | Retail & Ecommerce | Mobile

Like Christmases of the recent past, Christmas Day 2013 saw a huge spike in the number of mobile app downloads worldwide. Even though it was a smaller spike than in recent years, it still indicated a thirst for mobile apps among the general populace.

In the UK, it seems that males are responsible for a good amount of the general app download action. According to a YouGov survey commissioned by the UK’s independent authority for information rights, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), 63% of male internet users in the UK downloaded a mobile app in December 2013. Among female respondents, 54% said they had done so.

UK Internet Users Who Have Downloaded a Mobile App, by Demographic, Dec 2013 (% of respondents in each group)

However, this gap could have been even larger were it not for worries about privacy among UK males. The survey asked internet users if they had refrained from downloading a mobile app due to privacy concerns. Again, more men were likely to have done so than women—41% vs. 37%.

UK Internet Users Who Have Not Downloaded a Mobile App due to Privacy Concerns, by Demographic, Dec 2013 (% of respondents in each group)

And this issue of privacy is one that needs to be given careful consideration. After all, with market maturity comes a greater degree of consumer savvy, and UK smartphone users are becoming particularly savvy when it comes to apps. A June 2013 study from TRUSTe, conducted by Harris Interactive, found that if UK smartphone users didn’t trust an app, they more than likely didn’t download it—this action was cited by 76% of respondents.

Attitudes Toward Advertisers Tracking Smartphones According to UK Smartphone Users, June 2013 (% of respondents)

So, while men in the UK may well be keen mobile app users, they are also acutely aware of privacy and trust issues—as indeed is the wider population. To keep them onside, careful consideration needs to be given to app transparency, and the ICO’s “Privacy in Mobile Apps” guide is a good place to start.



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