Smartphones and Maps: Helps Find the Breadcrumbs

Are you going to the CTIA show in San Francisco next week? If so, do you want to know more about how consumers are using their smartphones? If you would like to set up a meeting with Compete during the show, please email Danielle Nohe at or find me on LinkedIn

Smartphones and Maps: Helps Find the Breadcrumbs

Fact or myth? Are men really less likely to ask for directions? Empirical data certainly points in that direction, but I’m not here to answer that question today. Sorry ladies. Instead, I’m going to look at some behavior that might be letting men off the hook – other tools at their disposal so they don’t even have to think about pulling into that gas station and admit to being lost.

These days, the smartphones on the market are equipped with mapping and GPS functionality to help their owners get from one place to the next. In the most recent release of data from Compete’s syndicated Smartphone Intelligence product, we asked smartphone owners how often they were using these tools.

Q: How often do you use maps / GPS activities on your smartphone?

Smartphone demographics for GPS

Looking at overall usage, we see that 80% of men and 76% of women are using the maps / GPS tools available on the phone. But, things get interesting when we look at the frequency of usage:

Daily usage: 12% of men are using maps/GPS on a daily basis, compared to just 6% of women
Weekly usage: 40% of men are using maps/GPS on a weekly basis, compared to just 24% of women
Monthly usage: Women are much more likely to use maps/GPS on a monthly basis – with 27% saying they only use maps/GPS ‘a few times a month’ and 10% using maps/GPS just ‘1 time a month’

The high frequency of men using maps/GPS on a daily/weekly basis compared to women may indicate that those men are finally getting it through their heads that it is OK to ask for directions – they just choose to ask their phones instead of a gas station attendant.

Come back and read Monday’s blog when we’ll look into how people are gaming on their smartphone…who is spending the most time mastering Angry Birds and challenging their friends on Words with Friends?

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