Yeah, and we buy cars just to check our makeup in the vanity mirror

I hate it when this happens. I hate when articles note the disparity between male and female tech users and chalk it up to something inane like “well, it doesn’t come in pink.”

The latest comes from PocketNow, which reports on the results of spb Software’s annual survey:

Use of Pocket PCs, male versus female, is 93% and 7%, respectively

This tells us a couple of things. Generally, females are more fashion conscious, so the fact that they are still straying from Pocket PC devices tells us that OEMs still have work to be done in creating aesthetically appealing devices. Second, Pocket PCs are more viewed as productivity devices, rather than lifestyle devices (as is the case with a RAZR, for example), so woman choose not to accessories with a “work” device.

Females are more fashion conscious?!? Is he serious?!?

Of course. Women don’t carry PDAs to sync their crazy schedules, get directions, read email and surf the web, take notes, read novels, play games, organize lists or manage databases. We carry PDAs because they match our shoes. We don’t actually want to get any work done, we are only interested in “lifestyle” devices that help us shop and look pretty.

So why does this survey find that 93% of its respondents are male? As one of the 7% of my gender who took the survey, let me tell you my theory. First of all, the survey itself was only linked in sites that are tech-heavy and aimed at the guys. If sites that are 93% male are saying “here’s the spb survey” then why is it a surprise that the results reflect that?

But it’s a valid point that more Pocket PC owners are male. Why? Because, and this is just my opinion, a woman looks at a device and asks herself, “What can I do with this?” and a man looks at a device and ask himself, “What can this do?” A Pocket PC device doesn’t present a woman with a logical answer to her question out of the box. It can launch rockets, and a man will say “Cool!” while a woman will say, “What use do I have for a rocket? Have it put dinner on the table and then we’ll talk.”


3 responses to “Yeah, and we buy cars just to check our makeup in the vanity mirror”

  1. Judi, you have the distinction of giving me the first good laugh of the day. I wasn’t chuckling about the way women are patronized when it comes to things like this, but rather because I was wondering where I could get my hands on a rocket-shooting PDA.

    That being said, I have a friend who on several occasions has reported on the conversations he’s had with his wife about the “cuteness” factor of certain objects. If she was choosing between two PDA’s of equal merrit, she’d choose the “cute” one over the not so cute.

  2. Judi, while I agree that the comment seemed a bit patronizing, yours isn’t much better. Either there are differences in men’s and women’s brains, in which case both explanations are plausible, or they aren’t that different, in which case neither is.

    And are you seriously saying that women, in general, aren’t more fashion-conscious than men? Come on. I won’t claim that has anything to do with PDA buying, but I won’t rule it out, either. However, I believe that women are far more into fashion than men (in general, of course). Why do you think women own over 10 pairs of shoes while men may own three? 😀

    Don, if the PDAs are truly of “equal merit”, why not choose the cuter? If I were trying to decide between two cars of equal merit, I’d choose the cooler one. If I were choosing between two women of equal merit, I’m sure I’d choose the prettier one.

    Of course, it’s rare that two things are truly of equal merit, and I suspect looks do matter more than just as a final differentiator (especially to men — oops). 😀


    P.S. Judi, please feel free to post your comments about the survey at pocketnow. If you couldn’t before, it was because of a registration glitch which I think I’ve cleared up.

  3. Hi Steve, thanks for the comment. I will try and post it at pocketnow…like you said I couldn’t before.

    Yes, woman are more fashion conscious. Without a doubt. I just don’t think that consciousness weighs as heavily in deciding tech as your posting seemed to indicate.

    As far as the PocketPC versus other PDAs or organization methods, yes “cute” is factor when other things are equal. But in this case all things aren’t equal. There’s a much higher barrier to entry for a PocketPC because it’s not clear out of the box what you can really do with one. That’s the point I was trying to make.