2010-02-17

Gadget:Tool or Toy For Women???

The common perception is to attach men with gadgets and women with clothes and accessories. But recent surveys on the same have revealed that women are actually more tech savvy than men!
The stereotype continues
Although a lot has been talked in recent times about how women have evolved to like and be equally comfortable as men with gadgets and tech talk, a survey by Siliconindia revealed the stereotype that men know all about consumer electronics and tech gadgets while women lag behind when it comes to something as simple as understanding gadgets, still exists. 



According to some men, women don't bother to go into the technical details of a gadget. They believe that the look is more important than the configuration! Further, women look at the brand before buying any product including tech gadgets, so they may not be very interested in the features of the product and many hence pick up stuff which is attractive only from the outside.
However, women believe in the contrary. Although most women may not be gadget freaks like men, they can certainly not be termed as technologically challenged. A simple example would be the number of female engineers who are involved in the manufacture of those very gadgets.
Rekha Menon, Head, Media and Public Relations at UST Global says, "What I look for in a gadget is, whether it is user friendly or not. Look is secondary." As far as men who stereotype women and their knowledge on gadgets are concerned, Rekha who uses a BlackBerry and would like to buy a Sony Vaio says, "I think it is more of a person to person thing. One can also stereotype and say that men are geographically challenged. But I believe these things depend more on the person's interest than on the fact whether it is a male or a female."
Women still go for pink and sparkly?
Most men also believe that women go for the pink and glittery gadget over the smarter gadget.
Shubhra Sinha, Managing Director, Marketing Globalization at Cisco says that although she may not necessarily go for pink and glittery gadgets, she definitely likes different colour and skin choices when it comes to gadgets.
Since gadget companies seem to find it difficult to design, produce and market products to women without resorting to stereotypes, their current strategy is that if they are making gadgets for women, it must be pink or sparkly. Vista, a California based company, which was started by two women, says that it has earphones and iPod cases that are available in colors such as Bubble Gum and Pomegranate Purple and studded with Swarovski crystals!
But according to most women, this is one the most ancient stereotypical description of women's interests. "Come on, the new metrosexual man also likes these things, don't they?" responded one gadget freak.
Sangeetha Phalgunan, Managing Director of Serena Software 'completely disagrees.' "I like sleek gadgets in basic black, and those which serve the purpose," says Sangeetha. Hemu Ramaiah, Founder and former CEO of Landmark when asked what she feels about companies coming out with specially designed products for women, replied that it is nothing but a "waste of time for people like her."
Pallavi Arora, Manager, Software Development at Cisco Systems reiterates this when she says, "Pink is a preferred colour for young children and not adults. I would instead like to see someone come up with more women friendly cell phones."
More interestingly, the connection between women and tech gadgets does not end here. Most of the women professionals that Siliconindia spoke to revealed that, not only do they discuss tech products with their colleagues, but they also follow the developments in this by reading reports about the latest releases.
Changing trends
According to a recent study by the NPD Group, women account for 40 percent of consumer-electronics spending. In fact, the Consumer Electronic Show this year featured more products wrapped in aesthetics meant to appeal to women. Today, globally 45 percent of active gamers are female, and in fact, more women own PSPs than men, with a figure of 52 percent. Even in the automobile industry, women make more automobile purchasing decisions than men. In Canada, Market Researcher Maritz reports that women influence some 66 percent of all buying decisions, including vehicle purchases.
Top gadget brands for women

As per our survey, these are the top five gadgets that women love:


1. E-reader
2. Apple iPod
3. BlackBerry Bold
4. Sony Vaio
5. Canon digital camera
So what's your take on this? Is it too early to call women gadget freaks? 

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