Nokia Revamps Product Naming Guidelines

Riding high from the release of the (admittedly) mid-range Nokia 500, the folks over at the Nokia Conversations blog have just released something else they seem very proud of: new product naming guidelines!

Starting with the 500, Nokia is returning to their numerical roots for all of their future handsets. This feels like a step backward, but Nokia promises that they have applied a bit of logic to their nomenclature.

The range will start from 100 (the most basic devices) and top out at 900 (the fanciest, most feature-laden), with the next digits being unique identifiers for individual devices. It gives Nokia a bit of room to play around in for sure, but I’m personally not looking forward to the day when someone asks me the difference between a Nokia 437 and a Nokia 412.

I know, I know, you’re just thrilled about the news. To be fair, they make some interesting arguments about Nokia’s naming scheme, and the issues inherent to it. For a while there, Nokia was all about arbitrary letter classifications: the X series were “entertainment devices” while E series phones were meant for business. As they point out though, those forced classifications didn’t always match up well to people’s actual needs and usage. On top of that, differentiation of devices got to be a bit of pain between series. Phil from Nokia Conversations makes a great point to this effect:

How is the Nokia C7 different than a Nokia X7? It all depends what you want to do with it and what your budget is. What about comparing a Nokia C3 and a Nokia C3-01? It turns out they’re actually very different devices.

Nokia was aiming to be different with this change, and for better or worse, they’ve certainly set themselves apart. I remain a skeptic, but it may well work out exactly the way they want. All I can say is that Nokia needs to release some real 900 series devices before they start sweating the small stuff again.