Do Designer Accessories Mean That Smartphones Have Gone Mainstream?

Technology has been the domain of male geeks from pretty much the time the first kit computers were available.  Of course women have been in the mix as well, but by and large it has been a male dominated niche, and the designs have been geared towards men. No frills, no fancy colors, just manly colors for a manly device.

Over the 30 or so years of mainstream technology adoption, what happened when a new generation of computers came out? Men bought a computer with a putty or dark gray colored case and their wives look at them in bewilderment. What about when a new cell phone came out? Men got the basic black or maybe dark blue phone and their wives wondered why. And now when the latest generation iPhone comes out? Of course the men jumped on them and their basic color design, and the women were wondering what was so smart about them.

Smartphones after the first generation though are becoming just as much an attraction to women as men. Maybe it is the rapid adoption of social media by women and the ease of using a smartphone to connect that is behind this increased usage. Or it could be the widespread adoption of technology by the youngest of generations regardless of gender.

My cynical side though thinks that it is the “designer-fication” of the accessories that is behind this trend. Yes, that is a little bit of a sexist statement, but it only takes a quick look around to fuel my opinion.

Women walk around with fancy bags that have cellphone pockets. My wife and daughter both have Vera Bradley bags that have specific storage spaces for smartphones. Both of my daughters have hand clutches that are specifically marketed to carry around their Androids and iPhone in style. There are even custom iPhone cases by Lilly Pulitzer (think Vera Bradley type designs). Almost every major designer has some spin on smartphone accessories in their product mix now.

Don’t worry guys, belt clips are still available for those of us who wear them as a proud geek badge. And as for colors, there are still the male dominated and boring black gel covers and other hot color combinations available. Black on black or blue on blue anyone?

I do not have a problem with this increase in available options available. I just find it interesting that the latest Android phone on my belt clip is a geek device, but an iPhone in a Lilly Pulitzer clutch is a social networking communications device.

Kent Allen is a long time technology geek, who likes to observe technology and marketing trends through a sarcastic lens. Through Geek Business, Kent is working to link up the Internet skills and business skills of webmasters and web newbies.