Google's Android stand at Mobile World Congress has been getting men of a certain age and scruffiness hot under the collar all week with its giant green robots and collectable pin-badges. But women? INQ CEO Frank Meehan thinks Android still isn't androgynous enough.
"If you go to a nightclub in any city in the world, the pretty girl has an iPhone or a BlackBerry," he tells Mashable. "She doesn't have an Android phone. She has no emotional attachment to an Android phone. It's too complicated. It's a geek device, it's all wrong."
Hang on a minute. Doesn't INQ make Android phones? It certainly does: the company has just unveiled its Cloud Q and Cloud Touch handsets, which both run Google's OS. The former is a BlackBerry-style smart phone with a Qwerty keyboard, while the latter is a touchscreen device. Both come with Facebook and Spotify deeply integrated.
Their actual specs aren't as powerful as some of their Android rivals, but Meehan thinks this is because other manufacturers are missing the point. "Android manufacturers are all just focused utterly on the tech, because they're all hardware guys. They don't get software. They've tried to outdo Apple with hardware, but the problem is the customer doesn't care," he says.
"The Samsung Galaxy has done pretty well, but it's just price-driven. It's not desire-driven. There are no lines out the door to get a Galaxy. They've done all this work on branding, but the name doesn't mean anything to consumers. It's like calling a phone 'Alpha Centauri' or 'Uranus'."
We suspect few manufacturers are queuing up to bag the latter name. INQ's handsets are clearly targeting a more mainstream audience. Will the Cloud Q and Cloud Touch be enough to tempt women away from their iPhones and BlackBerries? Has Meehan got this all wrong? Are a female Android user, insulted by his comments? Let us know your thoughts in a comment, whatever your gender or level of beautification.