Men and women pick and use their mobile phones differently, a new study by Ipsos Reid and Windows Mobile shows.

The study found men were more likely to choose a phone for its features while women were more likely to choose one for its form and appearance. Men were also more likely than women to sleep with their mobile device next to their bed at night. The study also showed men admitted to calling their friends most often while women were more likely to call family members.

Laurence Ashworth, professor of marketing at the Queen’s School of Business, says the results show men and women use mobile devices for different reasons.

“Men use the devices for a broader range of functions that relate to specific things they want to achieve in their lives. For women these devices fulfill an aesthetic goal — the look of the product conveys something about themselves,” Ashworth said.

Both sexes agreed they spend more time with their mobile phone than with their significant other — though men were more likely (45 per cent) to admit to giving their device more attention than their significant other compared to women (28 per cent). Ashworth says the statistic isn’t surprising but definitely sobering.

“We already spend more time at work than with our significant other, but I think if people stepped back they might take a look at how they use these devices,” he said.

When it came to picking colours for their mobile phones, men were much more likely to stick to black compared to women who would pick a wider variety of colours.

“Men are clearly staying away from feminine-style colours. Not one man in the survey said they would choose a pink mobile phone. There’s still a social stigma attached to a man using a pink phone,” Ashworth said.

Men and women did agree on how far they would go to retrieve a phone in unsavoury circumstances. Thirty-six per cent overall admitted they would search through a garbage can to find their phone while 20 per cent said they would reach into a toilet to fish their phone out.

One in twenty admitted they would pull their phone out of a pile of dog excrement. In all above situations, 40 per cent of men and women said they would continue to use their phone. Ashworth suggests the responses highlight the importance mobile phones have in people’s daily lives.

“I think people do become psychologically attached to phones because we are enormously reliant on them. People would go to the ends of the earth to save these devices,” Ashworth said.

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