UKOM, an industry source for online data, revealed that women in the UK are heavier users of mobile Internet services than men, with almost half of women's total time online accessed on smartphones.
The industry group said 49 per cent of women's online time is spent on smartphones compared to 39 per cent for men, the bulk of whom (48 per cent) prefer to access the Internet on a PC or laptop computer. As a result, UK women account for the majority of all UK smartphone-based Internet time, with an overall total of 52 per cent, it stated.
UKOM based its announcement on measured data supplied by comScore, which gauged UK users' Internet behaviour through a panel of 75,000 people and a census network that covered at least half of the UK's 250 most popular websites and a selection of high-volume apps.
Drilling down into the figures revealed that UK women spent almost five-and-a-half hours more accessing social media sites on smartphones than men in April 2016. Women also spent close to one-and-a-quarter hours more on retail sites, and one hour, 38 minutes more on smartphone-based online games.
Other categories of monthly smartphone minutes analysed included photos, books, health, instant messaging, coupons, newspapers, and incentive sites.
Julie Forey, UKOM's director of Insight, said the figures mirror research by BT in the 1980s that showed women were the heaviest users of landline telephones.
"Women, with their more natural desire to connect with friends and family, as well as their predilection for shopping, play a much bigger role in driving Internet use on smartphones," Forey said, adding: "Phone conversations as a method for sharing information and catching up are increasingly being usurped by smartphone apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and the like."
While Forey noted that the figures do not mean men are not accessing such online services via their smartphones, she explained that knowing "men don't dominate mobile time as they do on computers" can help advertising agencies "plan campaigns more effectively".
- see this UKOM announcement
Three UK to trial ad-blocking technology in June
EU sets 2020 deadline for freeing up 700 MHz band for mobile broadband
RootMetrics: EE ranked fastest and Three most reliable UK operator in H2 2015
Juniper Research: App advertising to reach $44B by 2020
Ofcom could clear 700 MHz band for mobile data use by Q2 2020