📱 Tech

Behold: the world’s most patronising smartphone for women

Right angles are so last week

By Emma Boyle March 2, 2016

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Gosh, I’m so sorry, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the rectangular shape of my laptop; its hard right angles and ugly square keys make my dainty hands resist my every effort to type. I have the same problem with my smartphone, it’s like carrying a brick! So many times I’ve wished there was a phone designed for my feminine sensibilities and their aversion to intimidating quadrilaterals.

Apparently someone has heard my prayers and designed Cyrcle, a circular smartphone just for women. It’s garishly orange and as round as the roll my eyes performed when I saw it. Cyrcle is the work of a start-up called dToor who claim they’re striving to “consider the needs of women first and produce designs which are not in the shape of a rectangle.” It’s funny because if you made a Venn diagram of things women don’t actually need and the things people insist women need, it would probably come out looking like this phone.

Image via Twitter

The company’s description of why its circular phone is more fitted to women is, quite frankly, a minefield of poor word choice and perplexing priorities. The first problem with the rectangle is that “truly feminine” clothing often doesn’t have pockets or its pockets are too small for a large smartphone. Now, in my eyes that’s a problem with the clothing, not the phones, but apparently Cyrcle’s “more natural and sensual form” is better suited to shoving down my bra when my jeans resolutely stop me from interrupting their skin tight flow. Because femininity.

Another great thing about Cyrcle is that it’s much more comfortable to use for long periods of time because “women love to talk.” Those three hour conversations I like to have with my sisterhood of the travelling pocketless pants are going to be greatly improved. A more ergonomic smartphone shape isn’t something men would be interested in; they prefer to suffer through their short communicative grunts because that’s what manly men do.

The winning feature of Cyrcle, though, is that apparently it will make me more attractive. I’ve been so naive, unaware my current method of overt rectangular communication was “unattractive” but I know now, thanks to dToor. They say “there is nothing less striking than a bank of moms at a volleyball practice pecking like chickens into their mobile phones. One look and you instantly understand how fundamental it is for women to discreetly communicate in order to always be connected.” I get it. Women you talk all the time! You should look pretty whilst you do it. But be discreet; we don’t want to see you communicate, we just want to feel comfortable in the knowledge that you’re doing it in an attractive manner.

The thing that really surprised me about Cyrcle and dToor though is that the person behind it is a woman, Christina Cyr. Christina has an impressive scientific background having experience in physics, electronics, software programming, nuclear submarines, biochemistry, software testing, and computer science so I find it difficult to process that she markets her product with such a patronising message. Part of me is hoping that it’s going to turn out to be a cutting commentary on how products are marketed to women.

The thing is, I don’t actually have much of a problem with the idea of a circular smartphone. Although I’ll take the phone shape that’s most affordable and easy to manufacture, I do get bored of seeing the same flat rectangles but that’s not because I’m a woman, it’s because I’m a person with eyes. And as a person with eyes, I don’t see anything attractive about the Cyrcle’s design or its message.

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