by Tom Kaneshige

Worst Valentine’s Day Gift for Women: Teddy Bear or iPad?

Feb 11, 2011
MobileSmall and Medium Business

You may love the iPad, but will it make her love you? This Valentine's gift is not all roses.

Are you thinking about getting the woman in your life an iPad for Valentine’s Day?

Naysayers will tell you that the iPad is too pricey, not very romantic, and might put too much pressure on a relationship just starting out. Sure, she might feel a bit uncomfortable receiving such a gift on Valentine’s Day.

But you’re a strategic thinker with an eye on the big picture: She’ll likely spend hours on the iPad every day (hopefully, not surfing dating sites). How can she not think of you?

With this weighty tech decision on your shoulders, breaks down the pros and cons:


Pro: It’s Money!

It’s not diamonds or gold, but an iPad does say you’re willing to drop some coin on the relationship. Sure, the iPad isn’t the most romantic gift. Cyrano de Bergerac would probably advise a man to avoid buying expensive, practical gifts and instead lead with his heart. Are you going to listen to that large-nosed fool? While a woman might say money doesn’t matter, it usually does.

The iPad is also a gateway to all sorts of things she wants, such as a favorite movie or book. In fact, suggest apps that you think she really needs, which shows you’ve been listening to her. After all, thoughtfulness is a turn on, writes Shine blogger Piper Weiss in her post Six Mistakes Men Make on Valentine’s Day.

Con: Women Are Attracted to Dogs More than Gadgets

Flashing an iPad isn’t the mating ritual of human beings as Apple would have you think, according to a Retrevo survey. While the study isn’t about Valentine’s gifts, it is about attraction—and the iPad fails miserably. Unless she’s a gadget geek, most women won’t be thrilled to receive an iPad or even see you with one, Retrevo’s data says.

Women under 35 are less impressed by people’s gadgets, with only 36 percent saying they find cool cell phones impressive, according to Retrevo.

“Want to attract women? Get a dog!” writes Andrew Eisner of Retrevo, in his blog post iPads Don’t Make You Look as Cool as You Think. “More women under 35 say they are attracted to a dog walker than someone using a cool smartphone.”

Pro: The iPad Sends a Good Message About You Both

The underlying message of an iPad as a gift is this: You’re smart and exciting. Let’s face it, iPads have made reading sexy again. In only a few months since its April 2010 launch, the iPad has become the second biggest e-reader device behind the Amazon Kindle. Apple has inked deals with top book publishers and delivered its iBook Store.

Earlier this week, The Daily debuted on the iPad under Apple’s new subscription model. For a dime and a penny a day, you get more than 100 pages of original news, entertainment, lifestyle, and opinions, breaking news updates, customized sports pages, videos, interactive graphics, and great photography.

Give her an iPad, and you’re showing the world that you’re not intimidated by her intelligence (although you probably really are).

Con: Teddy Bears are Dumb But Tech is Cold

The biggest slam against men on Valentine’s Day is that they don’t know a thing about romance. Some of the mistakes include using a generic Hallmark card to do your talking, letting a bear do your bidding—”stuffed animal tricks are for kids,” writes Weiss—and disappointing women with an electronic gesture of affection. The latter is about texting or emailing a loving message.

But the point is clear: Technology is cold.

There’s nothing special about an iPad, only the apps that she decides to put into it afterward. One might even conclude that you’re asking her to do all the work. Technology can be somewhat seedy, too. Did you give her an iPad to keep tabs on her? Is she obligated to give you her iPad password?

Sometime it’s safer to stick with a dozen roses.

Tom Kaneshige covers Apple and Networking for Follow Tom on Twitter @kaneshige. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline. Email Tom at