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Jun 1, 2009

What Women Want

What technology brands are most admired among women? Apple and Sony take the prize with Microsoft and Dell tying for third place, according to a recent "Women & Digital Life" study conducted by the Solutions Research Group.

About 20 percent of women reported that Apple was the technology brand or company they admire most, followed by Sony at 14 percent, and Microsoft and Dell at 10 percent. Hewlett-Packard came in at 6 percent, followed by Verizon and Google, which each earned 2 percent of the vote.

SRG polled 2,000 women ages 12 and up on six areas: attitudes/use of technology, TV and entertainment, gaming, wireless/mobile, broadband and social media.

When asked about the technology that has had the biggest impact on their lives in the last two years, 26 percent of women said the Internet, followed by computers at 22 percent, and cell phones at 18 percent.

Women polled said they spent an average of 22.9 hours per week online. When asked what they did online in the last month, 61 percent of women said they watched short video clips, 58 percent said they surfed the Web with their kids, and 57 percent said they purchased items online.

About 50 percent used social media Web sites like Facebook and MySpace.

Is the iPhone a top choice in the mobile space? Find out after the jump.

About 17 percent of women are using smartphones, and 18 percent have regular mobile phones. LG was the top brand choice, with 20 percent of the votes, followed by full keyboard BlackBerry devices at 15 percent and the BlackBerry Pearl at 13 percent.

About 12 percent of respondents used the iPhone, and 7 percent were on Palm devices.

Overall, mobile activity has increased since SRG conducted a similar poll in 2007. Texting has increased from 49 percent to 61 percent, as has taking photos on mobile phones, which jumped from 46 percent to 55 percent.

About 36 percent of women have bought a new gadget like a computer, cell phone, or digital camera in the last six months. About 42 percent of women 25 to 39 have made such a purchase, eclipsed only by the 44 percent of women with kids aged 12 and under.

On the video game front, Sony's high market share among the tech brands most admired by women was largely due to the popularity of its PlayStation 2 gaming systems. Of the women with gaming consoles, 49 percent had the PS2, followed by the Nintendo Wii with 40 percent, and the Nintendo DS and Xbox 360, both with 30 percent.

Wal-Mart's effort to buoy its electronics department has apparently paid off among women. About 32 percent said they used the retailing giant to make their technology purchases, followed by Best Buy at 29 percent, and the now defunct Circuit City at 7 percent. Also on the list was Target at 7 percent, the Apple Store at 5 percent and K-Mart at 4 percent.

SRG also asked women about their thoughts about ease of use and purchase. About 59 percent of those polled believed that today's technology is easier to use, compared to 18 percent who felt the opposite. About 32 percent of women found the number of choices intimidating, but 47 percent were comfortable with the selection.

The women were also asked if technology was a "guy thing" - to which 77 percent overwhelmingly replied that it was not.

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