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CES: Philips ‘discovers’ women

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Andrea Ragnetti is putting Royal Philips Electronics in touch with its feminine side at the Consumer Electronics Show.

The new head of Philips Consumer Lifestyle said the electronics manufacturer was embracing a minimalist, even curvaceous, approach to design that’s supposed to entice women, who, by the way, make at least 40% of all gadget purchases.

‘When it comes to buying the most masculine product -- the shaver -- women call the shots,’ Ragnetti said. ‘In our Norelco business, we know more than 50% of purchases are made by women as gifts for their significant others, their partners, their husbands.’

We were happy -- happy -- to welcome Philips to the 21st century, where women are even permitted to wear pants, travel without an escort and, heaven forbid, express their opinions. And we were even mildly interested in its new 7000 series of flat-panel TVs with sleek, rounded edges and an acrylic flare that suggested the tech-sexy look of Apple Inc.'s iPods.

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But even in its newfound enlightenment, Philips couldn’t resist the tug of gender stereotypes. It closed its presentation with a mini-fashion show of white-clad models wearing studded hematite stereo earbuds and padlock- and heart-shaped pendants with enclosed USB memory keys from its Swarovski Active Crystals Color collection.

Apparently, Philips thinks women have the emotional depth of fish: We’re easily lured by glittery objects.

-- Dawn C. Chmielewski


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