Nokia; Behind the Name (and Numbers)

I’ve always been interested in how things get named, who names them and what names or numbers may define for a product. I got a glimpse of this earlier on in 2010 when the Nokia Conversations crew announced a naming convention they had been working on since 2008 was being put into effect. The post outlined 4 “series” of devices; C, X, E and N. They also get numbered, 1 through 9 – which actually depends on both market price point and the “experience” they will provide to the customer. Right off the bat, you know that an E5 – will be a midrange device with a (probable) physical keyboard that focuses on messaging/email and professional productivity. You know that an N9 is going to an extremely high-end device, quality build, brimming with new hardware and packed with features and an X4 will be a lower end device, maybe running S40 and it revolves around music and social media.

Does this mean that there can only be a maximum number of 9 devices in each lineup? Yes and no. It seems that devices will also get suffixed designators that may let you know more about a hardware change or specific features; a spec-bump may be indicated with a “01” (similar to the C6 and C6-01)” or a “02” might indicate a change to input, such as seen on the recently out’ed X3-02, compared to the original X3 slider. A touch screen and a physical 12 button keypad. Devices can also share the same name. That’s right. There may be multiple devices with the same name. Straight from Nokia.

I talked to Anna Martin, a Communications Manager at Nokia who also advised me that extensive consumer studies and research is done for part of their naming and device creation process. Yes, they do listen to community and consumer feedback.

What about carrier names? Who named the E73 the “Mode”, how did the 5230 don the title of “Nuron”? As far as I can tell, these are completely up to the carrier. There are usually no indication anywhere on official Nokia device web pages, documentation that comes with unlocked devices, or anything that’s not carrier related. I conclude that it’s up the carrier to research and come up with an acceptable name.
Speaking of acceptable names…MeeGo isn’t one of them, in my opinion. Intel should have opened up and allowed the use of Moblin. It’s the lesser of two evils. Something about “MeeGo” to me, just feels immature and playful. Moblin, on the other hand sounds very fiendish – however it does immediately describe the platform by use of word contraction – MOBile LINux. Moblin. You know immediately what you’re getting - power users and developer can recognize it and it is easily pronounced by every day people (no more of this Maemo stuff).

So that’s that.


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