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Can a phone really be gender-specific?

Philips thinks so, with a handset that it developed for women


Trends are a funny thing in technology. Even when major changes are under way, such as the convergence of phones and media players, companies will grasp onto old notions like grim death.

Case in point: the Philips 598, a so-called music phone that Slashphone says was created particularly for female consumers. The supposedly gender-specific features: "women's diary and calendar, buying list, discounts manager, price table, personal card info, body weight index and basal metabolic rate measurement." So are we to believe that shopping, more shopping and dieting compose most of a woman's day?

Even when the industry's own research claims to find little difference between men and women in the handset models they choose, Philips seems to think it has the secret formula to lure the female consumer to the new phone, which we agree is attractively designed in a simple black casing with gold trim. At least it isn't pink.