Philips labels them "relationship care" gizmos, which kind of deflects attention away from the gadget details: multiple vibration modes (up to 120Hz) and intensities, a wireless charger base/storage case which avoids the need for battery replacements, they make a "soft purring sound," and are ergonomically designed. Silliness aside, it looks like Philips has really thought about these things, and priced them accordingly: the Warm Intimate Massager is around $140 in the UK, while Dual Massagers (his and hers) are $160 as is the unisex version. Philips' carefully-worded press release below.
London, United Kingdom – Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE:PHG, AEX:PHI) today announced the launch of a new category of ‘Relationship Care' with the introduction in the UK of a range of products designed to enhance couples' sexual well-being. These products will specifically target a new and previously unaddressed market of consumers in the 35-55 year age group who are open to using intimate accessories. Philips will sell its ‘Intimate Massager' range in the UK through selected high street retailers i.e. Boots, Selfridges of London and www.Amazon.co.uk. "Today's product launch is exciting as Philips enters this new market with a unique offering for consumers' personal well-being," says Sheila Struyck, Head of Market-driven Innovation and Category Leader for Relationship Care within Philips' Consumer Lifestyle sector. "This is an attractive market opportunity that Philips is in a unique position to pursue. We have the expertise in health and well-being, a strong track record in product design, a deep knowledge of consumer marketing, as well as a brand shown to lend credibility and appeal to this product category by addressing our target market in an accessible way." The category is being launched following extensive market research. In the UK, research showed that 35% of adults would consider using an intimate accessory with their partner if it were designed for couples rather than being meant for individual use. Furthermore, studies showed these adults would be more likely to try such products if they could buy them through more accessible and – what consumers perceive to be – less embarrassing retail channels. The first product launch from the Relationship Care category is a range of ‘Intimate Massagers'. These have been designed to be tasteful and stylish in their look and feel, creating an appealing product for consumers that can be sold by mainstream retailers. Philips' Intimate Massagers are also the first non-penetrative stimulators designed for partners to use together. In commenting on the launch of Philips' new range of Intimate Massagers, Simon McCandlish, Commercial Director for Healthcare from Boots said: "People come to Boots because they trust us to provide excellent healthcare products and advice. We believe that a healthier love life can improve overall health and well-being – and our customers have told us that they would like to buy these products from us. Both Boots and Philips are brands that stand for quality, reliability and trust. Our joint objectives are to provide High Street access to a range of products designed to enhance the love lives of UK consumers." Following the UK launch, Philips expects to introduce its range of Intimate Massagers in other European markets in 2009. The launch of this new category reinforces Philips' strategy as a health and well-being company to build market leadership positions in high-growth, high-margin businesses. For 2008, Philips estimates the value of the market for Relationship Care – a new and previously unaddressed market - to be approximately EUR 70 million for the UK and approximately EUR 280 million for Western Europe, with growth rates between 5% and 15%. Philips' new Relationship Care product category will form part of Philips' Health & Wellness business unit within the company's Consumer Lifestyle sector.[Philips]