Mobile

This one’s for the ladies: Verizon & HTC unveil a female-targeted, purple Android phone

NOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last.

Every couple years, we womenfolk get a pink or purple gadget made especially for us; this time around, it’s HTC’s new Rhyme.

Announced today by HTC execs, the phone will retail for $199 with a Verizon contract and sport a 3.7-inch screen, a 1GHz processor, and a 5-megapixel rear camera.

In other words, it would be a perfectly standard Android handset, except for the fact that it’s purple, features a stable of feminine wallpaper options, and comes with a light-up charm.

According to recent research, between 73 and 63 percent of Android owners are men. In one survey, men showed a preference for Android devices while women in the same study showed a strong preference for the iPhone — something that we attribute entirely to marketing. So Verizon and HTC apparently thought a female-targeted phone and marketing campaign would help bring new consumers into the Android fold.

The Rhyme will not support Verizon’s 4G LTE service, but it will come in a bundle with the aforementioned charm (also purple, it is designed to clip to your purse and comes with an LED that flashes when you have a notification), a speaker dock and matching purple earbuds.

While we do understand that Android device manufacturers want to tap into the female demographic to extend their reach, we’re not sure a purple, light-up phone with mid-range specs and girlie wallpaper is the right way to do that. In fact, it might take an even greater commitment: several years of gender-neutral marketing that emphasizes features everyone can use and enjoy rather than Verizon’s current Android marketing, much of which positions the device at the center of a dystopian machine shop.

The HTC Rhyme will be available for pre-order starting September 22.