A Samsung phone codenamed SGH-I425 was recently leaked on a benchmark website with some killer specs. Our news machine Alex wrote about it here. I was quite intrigued by a smartphone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a 720p screen headed to Verizon; it would be a first. In the past, Big Red has favored Motorola when it came to high-end slide out keyboard smartphones. Based on the leak, this phone looks set to dethrone the Droid 4.
Then I kept reading and started to think about that codename.
I love chocolate, but I'm beginning to wonder why smartphones are being given such wild names. Granted, it's probably easier to market the Samsung Godiva Extra Dark and Crispy than the Samsung I425. My main concern is the general acceptance and consensus that smartphones are (1) still phones and (2) worthy of such ridiculous names.
Let's review some of the top smartphone makers and the names of their hero devices:
Someone please tell me what the "S" stands for.
The originator of the first multitouch phone has chosen to keep it short and sweet with their naming conventions, and I can't figure out why. It's not creative. To those saying it's easy to remember, you're right. Thanks to Apple, I always know which one had the incremental hardware and software refresh, and the order that they were released. But that's not even my main issue with iPhones; I'm tired of knowing which one is the better value (it's usually the one without the "S"). Is there really no excitement left? Are we really that naive? I like to buy new phones, but not the same phone twice. Why should you? Don't even get me started with the new iPad because I might get up and stop writing.
What is love?
I feel like HTC is that high school kid who wants to fit in so bad that he/she is willing to risk it all just to be noticed. You know, the girl who was sort of geeky because she didn't know how to dress, but then gets a makeover, goes to prom with the most popular guy in school, and now can't get the next batch of geeks off her. (Name that movie!) In all seriousness, I just want to see less adjectives (Incredible), kindergarten nouns (Trophy, Hero), and dance moves (ChaCha, Salsa). Call me a nerd, but I'd rather know I'm holding the most massive known dwarf planet in the solar system (Eris). It's just cool. The One line worked for the time being, but I know they won't be able to keep that going. That's already been ruined that with the Butterfly/Droid DNA, and rumored M7. HTC's marketing department must be up to their gills with name suggestions and I can't help but think they need to fire a whole lot of consultants to get their sales back on track.
I've come to the conclusion that LG is the world's largest undercover manufacturer of Transformers. Please just admit it and tell me I'm safe from the Decepticons already.
In all honesty, had Michael Bay actually been on board with LG and their naming convention, I'm sure LG would be in a much better situation than they are now. Unfortunately, not even their consultants could stop Bay from pulling out his '$39 Samsung dumbphone' back at CTIA 2009. To make matters worse, they don't know the alphabet. Here are a few names of LG's smartphones that people bought, and flaunted to their friends: the Optimus G, Optimus S, Optimus M, Optimus T, Optimus U, Optimus V, Optimus 2X, Optimus 3D, and Optimus 4X HD. The last I checked, G is not the best letter in the alphabet, LG, so why is it your best phone? Also, Optimus is arguably not all that much better than Bumblebee, so answers, I demand.
Samsung's marketing department is so mad at the world and all of its words that they've decided to leave Earth entirely.
And they're not looking back. Their Galaxy line has proven to be the most marketable word in the mobile industry. Yesterday Samsung announced it had sold over 100 million Galaxy S smartphones worldwide. That's more than anything I've ever seen ever in my entire life on this planet, and I eat a lot of rice. Did you know Samsung has over 209 different smartphones? Neither did I. I thought they only had the Galaxy S, SII, and SIII. Oh, and the Galaxy Nexus because I carry that one around, but honestly, I just call it a Nexus. Aside from the Galaxy brand, Samsung has explored other names like Infuse, Impression, Omnia, and Rugby. Of those, I think Omnia stands a chance at making as large of a dent in the naming department as Galaxy, but I'm no consultant; I just like words.
Sony reps threw their dictionary in the trash back in 2008 when they made up the word Xperia.
They haven't looked back since. In fact, I'm inclined to believe that was a good idea since their Xperia brand accounts for over 50% of their total sales. Personally, the creativity of creating a word and risking the reception of the market is both admirable and bold. Sony has created a brand to the extent that Samsung has created the Galaxy line and nearly forgotten every word in the dictionary. Here are a few of Sony's new made-up words: Bravia, Exmor, xLOUD, and Clearbass. If only they knew how to release hardware to the forefront of all their competitors then would they be a viable alternative to an iPhone, or Galaxy S. Until then, let's just hope the rumors of Sony ditching low-end smartphones to focus on high-end offerings becomes a reality sooner rather than later because I think they stand a solid chance.
That's it! I was going to detail Huawei's and ZTE's naming conventions, but then I realized they literally made no sense to me.
So, reader, am I way off the mark? Do you think manufacturers actually know what they're doing? I'm all ears! Make up some words so we can help the Huaweis and HTCs of the world and let me know what you think in the comments below!