Smartphones That Are Made For Women?
What surfs and texts and is pink all over?
The answer, according to some tech industry watchers, is the first smartphone specifically geared towards women.
On May 2, Nokia announced plans for the pink N8, replete with an ELLE fashion app and an option to install a “Little Pink Diva Theme for adding some colour into your menus and a great Pink Neon Clock.”
Yet Nokia is careful to point out that it doesn't sell women-only phones.
“We do not market phones by gender but rather what the consumer wants to do with the device,” wrote Mona Kokkonen, of Nokia’s communications office, in an email to The Huffington Post. “[Of] course, some colors might appeal to women more than men.”
Nokia’s site notes the phone’s hot pink shade was voted color of the year by Pantone. Although a 2008 Consumer Electronics Association study says that, while more women than men prefer having color choice, 59 percent did not want their phones to be pink.
Rumors are also flying in the tech world about a Verizon Android that will be marketed to women. Codenamed HTC Bliss, the phone approaches feminine appeal with more subtlety, sporting a “calming” green hue as well as “calming” wallpapers, an inside source told This Is My Next.
This much-discussed feminine handset is anticipated to come pre-stocked with female-centric apps that count calories and compare shopping prices and -- like any girly plaything -- plenty of accessories. This is rumored to include a cube-shaped “charm indicator” that will hang off the phone and glitter when there’s a new message or missed call.
The Bliss would serve as a counter to HTC's Droid Incredible, which is being marketed in testosterone-driven commercials reminiscent of "The Matrix."
The fem-friendly phone is expected to also be tech savvy as well: The Bliss may also include a wireless charging dock and a square-shaped speaker with voice recognition technology.
But don't get too excited just yet: Verizon did not comment on the alleged endeavor, and This Is My Next’s Joanna Stern questions whether the Bliss will ever go into production.
Meanwhile, an Indian company has announced plans to begin selling the Micromax Bling 2 -- an Android that is decorated with Swarovski Zirconia crystals.
A BlogHer post questioned whether the entire concept of a girl-friendly cellphone will appeal to its intended audience.
The Mary Sue blogger Jamie Frevele gives another reason to doubt the marketing savvy: “Um, I actually have a Droid X (on Verizon) and had no idea it wasn’t geared for my delicate lady sensibilities.”
"I don't think carriers and manufacturers need to create phones targeted to any gender,” said iPhone user Cristina Cordova, head of business development for app maker Alphonso Labs and co-host of the Girls Out Loud podcasts. “They should create software that is customizable based on a user's interests and usage via applications -- male or female,” she told The Huffington Post.