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Wednesday, 23 January 2008 01:10

Apple's pink 'Pod

What is it with pink? Bring out a version of your product in pink and the media are all over it.

The trigger for this observation is Apple's announcement of a pink iPod nano. And yes, I do realise that I'm falling into the very trap I'm complaining about.

Let's deal with the product first. 8G iPod nano, pink case, $US199/$A279, available immediately. The old colours - silver, black, blue, green and red - remain on the list.

Greg Joswiak, the iPod marketing guy at Apple suggests "The pink iPod nano is perfect for people who want a great new color this spring, or who are searching for a special Valentine's Day gift."

I'm not saying that consumer electronics manufacturers should go back to the days when everything was black or silver, especially as we we weren't given a choice but just had to accept whichever they thought was current.

But pink? It seems such a condescending, juvenile colour. Little girls are as entitled as anyone else to an iPod in the colour of their choice, I suppose, but despite Joswiak's suggestion I don't think I'd ever give a pink gift to a woman.

It just seems lazy: wrap an existing product in a new pink case, maybe slap on some diamante, and they'll love it. I'm not singling out Apple here - an electronics store I visited the other day had a section devoted to pink hardware, from keyboards to barbecue tools.

Apart from anything else, pink - especially the garish Barbie-style pink so often chosen by manufacturers - says "don't take me seriously."

Still, these things must sell in sufficient quantities, or nobody would bother making them. But are they being purchased by people who actually want pink gadgets, or are they destined to be unwanted gifts?

At least if you are given an iPod in a colour you don't like there's the option of hiding in a case that's a more suitable hue. Try doing that with a pair of barbecue tongs.

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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