Does Android have a 'dude' problem?

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Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon

Consumer technology has come a long way in shrugging off its "for boys only" image over the past few years, but has Google Android missed the mark in the way it presents itself to women?

The feared Android bogan
(Credit: CBSi)

In a recent survey conducted by Lady Geek, it found that only 5 per cent of the women surveyed in the UK would choose an Android device, as opposed to nearly 12 per cent of the men they asked. The survey approached nearly 79,000 people in the UK, aged between 25 and 39 years.

"Android provides a perfect example of how not to market a platform to women, and so the Android experience has become irrelevant to more than half of the population," said Lady Geek founder Belinda Parmar in a statement, as she prepares to present her findings at DroidCon in the UK at the end of October.

It is true that marketing for Android products has tended to sell horsepower over aesthetic, as made abundantly clear in the original series of Motorola Droid ads. A quick glance across the current range of Android devices does show a masculine slant in the way the phones are designed, though you could argue that was the case across all phones on all platforms.

So what do you think ladies? Do you know or care what Android is? Are you sick of the boring blokey design of modern smartphones? What would you like to see changed?

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MobileMojo posted a comment   

Most women dont care much about the OS. We just want something that looks cool and works well. So far iPhone has done a better job of marketing to both these points, but Samsung and SE are starting to tick the right boxes as well. Not so much HTC which is marketed so heavily to the geeks that it fails the coolness test entirely. WP7 will be one to watch with women - it is specced really well and looks like a glossy magazine.
Having said all that, I am a geek, a woman and an Android user. Make of that what you will.

 

Jencha posted a comment   

Most of my female friends haven't a clue what my Android phone is. At the same time none of them would bother looking up reviews or even know cnet.com.au exist. cnet reviewers, users etc not quite the same as the Vogue forums. The iphone and blackberry wins hands down for them. I do believe it needs to be marketed differently as a marketer, as a female and as an Android lover.

 

Max posted a comment   

I bought an android phone (HTC Desire). I loved it an recommended it to my girlfriend. However, she wanted something smaller, so she bought a Wildfire. She is cool, so now all her friends want one instead of their iphones. 2 of them have already upgraded to Galaxy S phones. They don't really know what the difference is between IOS and Android, its just that Android comes in all shapes and sizes....like handbags.

 

Weiss posted a comment   

Your implication that females care more about aesthetics than horsepower is grossly sexist.

 

Nathan posted a reply   

Women rate form over function, proven fact, so it's not a sexist comment.

 

Michelle Starr posted a reply   
Australia

[citation needed]

 

egregeag posted a reply   

LOL, you need a citation for what has been societies evolution for the last couple hundred years?

 

Michelle Starr posted a reply   
Australia

Hey, he said it was proven fact ... let me see the irrefutable proof and I'll stop questioning.

 

Michelle Starr posted a reply   
Australia

Hey, he said it was proven fact ... let me see the irrefutable proof and I'll stop questioning.

 

Michelle Starr posted a reply   
Australia

[citation needed]

 

MissDebiant posted a comment   

Female android user here. My biggest problem with a lot of the smart phones on the market, regardless of the OS is that they are too big for me to comfortably handle. I personally like a neat and compact phone that allows for easy customisation, which is why I ended up going for a SE Xperia X10 Mini Pro. It fits perfectly in my smaller sized hands, whereas an iPhone is just that bit too big to be comfortable.

What's more to me when it comes to an OS is if it's open source and/or has open source apps available. For me open source is the true key to making something truly customisable and when we're talking smart phones it means if there isn't an app that does what I want I can develop one for myself.

Looking more generally at female smart phone users (or potential smart phone users) aesthetics do seem to be held as more important that what I've seen amongst males. I don't think that it has to mean offering a pink case though (even if I am personally partial to a pink case) - it's more about having something that combines looks and practicality.

 

. . . posted a comment   

Through my entire range of friends which are evenly split into boys and girls if not more guys, more of the girls use android phones. Two use the Xperia X10 and one uses the galaxy s. Out of the guys I know, one uses the galaxy s and that's about it.
For what I'm witnessing this isn't right.
For girls I don't think the platform matters. It's the look and popularity of it. That's why so many use the iPhone, and why many like the Xperia X10, however the xperia is often seen to be too big.


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