Pretty in pink: tech gadgets go girly

Japanese electronic entertainment device makers are targeting fashion-savvy Korean women with pink gadgets. Sony is launching a pink VAIO laptop for the first time in Korea, which has a glittery “nail-polished top” in ballerina pink. Nintendo is seeing sales figures rise with its pink Nintendo DS Lite, launched just a few months ago.
Sony Korea yesterday unveiled its VAIO CR series, a 14.1-inch laptop computer that comes in four different colors, including pastel pink. Although previous models of the VAIO have been available, only black and silver ones were sold in Korea, mainly catering to a tech-hungry male clientele.
Not anymore. Although men are still on Sony’s customer list, the company is going after the women this time, and it is not ashamed to say so. Not only is it marketing female-friendly catchphrases and holding woman-only promotional parties, but it also hopes new designs will communicate with the fairer sex.
It all begins on the outside, with a chrome frame around the laptop that Sony Korea spokesperson Simon Lee says was meant to feel like a clutch. For style-conscious women wanting to make a striking first impression, Lee says that emphasis was placed on making sure the computer literally shines. Other than the shiny chrome frame, there is also a shiny coating on the cover and a backlight that changes color according to what function one is using on the PC.
But being pretty isn’t just about being shiny on the outside. The keyboard of the new VAIO CR has a beautiful font unique among laptops, and the keys are placed close together so that women don’t get their fingernails caught in between. It also has a 1.3 megapixel camera and Intel’s Core 2 Duo Processor.
In a sense, the launching of the pink VAIO follows the success of Nintendo’s pink DS Lite. In Korea, the console game market takes up less than 5 percent of the entire game market because online games dominate. The success of the DS Lite was mainly attributed to women gamers. As of last month, only four months after its initial release in Korea, more than 270,000 consoles had been sold here.
“Women customers are showing more interest now that gadgets are becoming more colorful,” said a vendor at Technomart, an electronics mall in eastern Seoul. “But pink products sell at least two times more than other colors.”

By Wohn Dong-hee
Staff Writer for JoongAng Daily


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