Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Phones for Women

I have had my cell phone for seven or eight years; it is old enough that it doesn't have GPS capability, old enough that my teenaged sons were embarrassed for me when I used it, but it is sturdy and it works - and it's a tool, so there was no need to replace it. Just recently, I realized that I needed to be able to set different ring tones for social and business calls (so I don't answer a business call when the kids are shrieking in the background), which meant I needed a new phone.

I did a little research (asking friends what phone they have) and so did my husband (checking the internet). One thing he discovered is that "all phones bought by women are pink or purple". It makes women sound juvenile - until you realize that the options are all techno-geek phones in grey or black or silver. Women tend to treat cell phones as tools, not toys, so simplicity is good; you shouldn't need a computer science degree to run your phone. At the same time, woman like their tools to look nice, to have a little style. I hate to tell the phone designers, but silver and black with tiny buttons doesn't count as stylish, especially when every phone out there looks the same way. In desperation, we buy the few interesting, straightforward offerings, which happen to be in pink and purple. Given some options in cell phones with some interesting designs, a reasonable percentage of women would opt for something other than stereotypical pink and black - but there aren't any.

My sons are still embarrassed, because I got the basic mom phone, the same one my friends tend to have: bright pink with big buttons, without internet access, an MP3 player, video, or Bluetooth capability. I looked at a phone in a neat green, but the buttons on the pink phone felt and worked better for my hands (good tool design wins over good color). So even though I am up-to-date, I am nowhere near cutting-edge - which probably reassures my sons. Works for me!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So, at least with buttons, size matters?