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Have Launch-Crazy Mobile Makers Run Out of Decent Product Names?

Car companies are notorious for coming up with creative names. They love to wax poetic about their products, from making up words — Optima, Jetta and the defunct Integra come to mind — to slapping overly flowerly descriptors on there. (Can any car really be as emotional and soul-soaring as an operatic Sonata?) Then there’s the utterly baffling: What was Ford thinking with the Probe? (Sounds painful.)

Cell phone names are no better. Samsung Smiley, anyone? Or maybe a LG Muzq or Motorola Electrify is more your speed. There’s also the crazy alphabet soup that happens when makers upgrade to a HD display, while keeping the lower end on the shelves, or push out 3D phones (which the mainstream isn’t interested in) and 4G devices (even where there’s no 4G network). Add these to the branding for a collection, like the Galaxy and Droid lines, and you’ve got whoppers like the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD. Now that’s a mouthful.

I often wonder what the companies are trying to convey here. Buzzfeed listed out over a hundred current and impending devices, and there’s definitely some kookiness hidden in the ranks.

Apple iPhone 3GS
Apple iPhone 4
Apple iPhone 4S
BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930
BlackBerry Curve 3G
BlackBerry Curve 9350/9360/9370
BlackBerry Pearl 3G
BlackBerry Porche Design P’9981
BlackBerry Torch 9800/9810
HTC Desire
HTC Desire HD
HTC Droid Incredible 2
HTC Evo 3D
HTC Evo Design 4G
HTC Hero
HTC Inspire 4G
HTC Merge
HTC One S
HTC One V
HTC One X
HTC Ozone
HTC Rezound
HTC Rhyme
HTC Sensation
HTC Status
HTC T-Mobile G2 Touch
HTC T-Mobile myTouch 4G
HTC T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide
HTC Tattoo
HTC Touch Cruise
HTC Wildfire
LG Banter
LG Banter Touch
LG Chocolate Touch
LG Cosmos
LG Cosmos Touch
LG Muzq
LG myTouch Q
LG Optimus 4X HD
LG Optimus 3D Cube
LG Optimus 3D Max
LG Optimus One
LG Optimus 2
LG Optimus Slider
LG Optimus S
LG Optimus M
LG Optimus T
LG Optimus Vu
LG dLite
LG Rumor Touch
LG Wine 2
Motorola Bali
Motorola Brute
Motorola Droid 2 Global
Motorola Droid 3
Motorola Droid 4
Motorola Droid Bionic
Motorola Droid Pro
Motorola Droid RAZR
Motorola Droid RAZR Maxx
Motorola Droid X2
Motorola Electrify
Motorola Milestone X
Motorola Photon 4G
Motorola Triumph
Motorola XPRT
Samsung 🙂 t359
Samsung Admire
Samsung Captivate
Samsung Captivate Glide
Samsung Character
Samsung Conquer 4G
Samsung Epic 4G
Samsung Eternity II
Samsung Fascinate
Samsung Flight II
Samsung Illusion
Samsung Indulge
Samsung Intensity
Samsung Galaxy Ace 2
Samsung Galaxy Attain 4G
Samsung Galaxy Beam
Samsung Galaxy Indulge
Samsung Galaxy mini
Samsung Galaxy mini 2
Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Samsung Galaxy Note
Samsung Galaxy Precedent
Samsung Galaxy Prevail
Samsung Galaxy S
Samsung Galaxy S Advance
Samsung Galaxy S Aviator
Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G
Samsung Galaxy S Beam
Samsung Galaxy S II
Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket
Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD
Samsung Galaxy S Plus
Samsung Galaxy Y Pro
Samsung Stratosphere a Galaxy S Phone
Samsung Gravity Smart
Samsung Gusto
Samsung Mezmerize
Samsung Reality
Samsung Replenish
Samsung Repp
Samsung Smiley 🙂
Samsung Suede
Samsung Transform Ultra
Samsung Vitality

Be empathetic with the non-techie crowd. This epic list of devices above doesn’t even cover them all. And as tech-savvy as you might be, dear reader, even with all your cred, it would still be impressive if you knew each and every one. So just how is Betty Sue and old Uncle Floyd supposed to parse that? The monikers sure aren’t going to help. (Samsung Captivate? Let me just tell you — I was at the press event for the gen 1, and while it was okay for the time, I can’t say it really captivated anybody.)

Maybe makers struggle with decent names because they’re coming out with devices at such a breakneck speed, they’re running out of ideas. I can’t believe I’m saying this, because I generally believe that selection and competition are good, but this is over-the-top. And the manufacturers know it. They realize they’ve sped past the over-saturation point, straight into soaking the market with devices.

This isn’t the embarrassment of riches you might think either. We’re staring at an endless parade of handsets that (minus a few exceptions) don’t show a ton of differentiation. In other words, we’re back to the age-old quality vs. quantity debate. Again.

Industry, please heed these words: Control yourselves. We don’t need a million variations on the same thing. We’ll be okay with fewer, more curated choices if they pack genuine innovation and standards of excellence. Give us that, and we won’t care if you call it Grandma’s Little Helper 4G HD. We’ll line up for it.

But if you’re going name a handset Incredible or Fascinate, for goodness’ sake, make sure that it delivers.

[via Buzzfeed]


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Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...


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