tablet computer just for you, preloaded with lady-friendly apps displayed on a fancy, pink background! Developed by Middle East-based Eurostar Group, the ePad Femme is being billed as the "world's first tablet made exclusively for women" but, like other products that have been unnecessarily dumbed down or doused in pink (the rose-colored Honda Fit She's, for example, or Bic "Cristal for Her" pens) it's not exactly winning hearts the world over.Hello, girls! Can't figure out your Kindle? Don't know where to find cool apps for your iPad? Don't worry your pretty little heads about it any longer: Now there's a
Never mind the fact that babies and even cats can figure out how to use an iPad. The developers behind the $190 Android-powered ePad Femme are certain that women think tablet computers are too complicated.
“The tablet comes preloaded with applications so you can just turn it on and log in to cooking recipes or yoga,” Eurostar's Associate Vice President for Marketing, Mani Nair, told The Media Line. “It makes a perfect gadget for a woman who might find difficulties in terms of downloading these applications and it is a quick reference.”
In addition to Google, Skype, Twitter, YouTube, and Gmail, the 16GB, 8-inch tablet comes with not one but two yoga apps, two grocery list apps, pregnancy apps, a clothing-size converter, several cooking apps, and a "Women's Assistant" represented by a scale with a measuring tape wrapped around its middle.
"Ridiculous," commented Angela Penn Stirn on Facebook. "So the men's version comes pre-loaded with porn and an app that constantly tells him how great he is?"
"As a woman, and therefore obviously hopeless at mathematics, I am enthusiastic about a product which will allow me to calculate my optimum fertility window without the need to bother my husband during his well-earned pipe and newspaper time," quipped Carooaks at Tablet-news.com.
"Everyone ask their husband’s permission to use their credit card – you don’t want to miss this," deadpanned Emmy Griffiths at Planet Ivy.
Given that Eurostar Group already offers standard ePads in a range of colors, some consumers are questioning the need for a less-powerful pink one. (Google's Nexus 7, which is also retails for about $199, is gender-neutral black.)
“It comes in pink because it’s for women,” Ali Saif Eddin, an electronics salesman, explained to Gulf News. “It’s quite fast selling because it’s unique. Women come in groups and buy two or three pieces and advise their friends to come.”
Judging by news reports and online reviews, though, he may be overstating the ePad Femme's popularity. Mashable reports that only about 7,000 of them have been sold as of mid-February (it launched in October and is available only in the Middle East and parts of Asia), and Eurostar Group's Nair says that many of the ePad Femmes were probably purchased by men as gifts for women.
Nair insists that the ePad Femme isn't sexist, and says that Eurostar is offering pre-loaded apps on some of their other products, like tablets aimed at gamers, as well. But consumers point out that Eurostar's other products don't perpetuate gender stereotypes the way the ePad Femme does.
“There have always been special books for women concerning sex, how to please your husband, and what to cook for him,” Eman Al Nafjan, a Saudi feminist blogger told The Media Line. “This is just using technology for the same thing.”
“Whoever made this Tablet doesn’t understand us very well,” she added. Given the restrictions against women in parts of the Middle East, “We are home all the time and we are extremely tech-savvy.”
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