Huawei's new Ascend P7 is a solid smartphone, ready to trouble phones at the top end of the market. But it's being undermined by a launch event that's peppered with sexist remarks of the same kind that has marred many a tech event before.
Among the Ascend P7's accessories will be a Bluetooth tag, letting you locate a lost item by pairing it with the handset. According to one Hauwei executive, it has an alternative use too: why not "tie a Bluetooth tag to your girlfriend so she doesn't go wandering?"
Great! A digital leash for your wandering girlfriend. I'm sure she'll love that.
Elsewhere, the handset's selfie camera features were presented as being perfect for women who don't want to appear fat, when simply focussing on the front-facing camera's quality would have sufficed.
Huawei's not the first company to put its foot in it, discussing women in an objectifying manner. Remember Samsung's Galaxy S4 launch horror show? How about the "booth babes" that are still uncomfortably paraded around the major tech and gaming conferences?
What will it take to get past this stuff? It's not as if this kind of attitude could be considered a smart way to court a wider audience. To speak specifically of smartphones, where's the benefit of marketing them solely at men, let alone doing so in a pig-headed way? Whether a company is aiming at the tech enthusiast or a casual shopper looking for a new phone, surely the best way to sell the benefits of a product is to do so without marginalising an entire gender? There may be no malice intended here, but some common sense and general sensitivity towards half the world's population will certainly win more hearts (and bag more sales) than any lame attempt at raising a few cheap laughs from the cavemen.