by Al Sacco

HTC Bliss is an Android Smartphone for Women…Seriously?

Opinion
Jul 26, 20113 mins
iPhoneMobileSmall and Medium Business

Leaked images of HTC's new "Bliss" smartphone suggest the company may be trying to raise female awareness, and uptake, of the Android mobile OS. But will women embrace the marketing stunt…or avoid it?

Google’s Android OS, by design, has targeted mostly male users since its debut a few years ago—the word “Droid” is a reference to the cult sci-fi film Star Wars and a quick look at Verizon’s recent DROID DOES marketing campaign makes it abundantly clear that the company isn’t exactly looking to draw in the average female wireless customer.

HTC-Bliss-Dock.jpg

But if Taiwanese handset-maker HTC has its way, the perception of Android as an OS that mostly caters to men could soon change. HTC is reportedly working on a new device called the HTC Bliss, which comes in at least one stereotypically “girly” color, “sea foam green.”

A number of female-friendly Bliss accessories are also expected, including a “charm indicator” meant to help the stereotypical female easily fish her smartphone out of her stereotypically-messy purse or handbag—though I’m still not really sure how this thing is supposed to work. A matching dock of some sort, likely for charging and possibly for synching data, will also presumably become available, along with a similarly-colored Bluetooth headset.

It also seems inevitable that we’ll see a number of additional color options if/when this device launches, including, of course, the pink, yellow and purple, etc., one might expect for a “Lady Phone.”

Starting to see a trend here? This thing is a stereotype just waiting to happen.

HTCAccessoriesCharm.jpg

I mean, at least the handheld isn’t completely bedazzled and covered in tiny, shiny hearts, but do women really want phones that look like they belong in the hands of some Barbie doll? Also, is color the only thing that makes this device female friendly? If so, that’s a fairly weak effort on HTC’s part, because plenty of modern smartphones already come in a variety of funky colors.

Sure, Verizon’s DROID devices are aimed at the stereotypical male geek, but they’re not designed to look like R2-D2…well, most of them aren’t. In fact, the majority of current Android devices are gender neutral in appearance.

I actually think it’s quite brilliant of HTC to try to target women with an Android device, since that market is largely untapped, at least when compared to the male market. But I think the company’s time would be better spent coming up with unique use cases and applications that truly demonstrate value to female users.

Then again, maybe I’m just out of touch. I do still use a BlackBerry, after all.

AS

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