Ah, gay Paris! There's nothing quite like hopping on the train to France to go to a ladies-only launch of the new CL75 ladyphone. The launch was, of course, designed to try to poke and prod the women's press into finally giving a few more editorial inches to gadgets and technology, since they still seem to be finding it hard to accept that women like their phones, cameras and music players. Whether it will work or not is another matter, but with Siemens taking us to spend a day at an incredibly frou-frou cafe (which featured in SATC), taking us off for relaxing massages and facials, and whisking us off to an Ana Quasoar fashion show, it's certainly a day that they'll remember.
More details of the launch after the jump, but two important things to report first. First, the lovely white SF65 clamshell with 1.3-megapixel camera and swivel screen (the one everyone's calling the Siemens iPod phone because of its design) is now out in the UK. And second, the marketing people told me that "fans of the SL55 will be very excited in Autumn". And when I ranted on about how they should just refresh and upgrade the old SL55, they told me to wait and I'd soon be pretty pleased. So watch this space if you're a fan of the little slidey phone.
Anyway, back to the launch. I was entirely out of my depth, especially during the perfume smelling workshop during which Roja Dove told us that most journalists prefer Chypre smells (instead of floral or oriental) and I just nodded my head and tried not to sneeze. But great fun was had by all, and, who knows, maybe the women's press will finally cotton on to this whole alien concept of gadgets for girls.
I was pretty much the only journalist taking notes during the phone launch (but boy did those pens appear when Roja started telling us about smells) and although there's not much extra to tell you about the specs of the CL75, I did like the talk from Susanne Ebling - the woman who headed up the all-woman design team - when she said that it was important that they didn't just "pink it and shrink it". A concept that usually works for me, but leaves an awful lot of more tasteful and refined women feeling patronised. Not that including a mirror isn't patronising, but since I used it to check my teeth within the first 5 minutes of holding it, I can't really get uppity. I still haven't had a chance to get hold of the phone for proper testing, but it all looked pretty nice when I had a quick grope, with nice round keys and an elegant design. It'll be here in the Summer.