Nokia launched the Nokia 500 this week, featuring a 1GHz processor, changeable back covers, and the Symbian Anna operating system. Since the company is slowly moving to Windows Phone, this phone was hardly worth discussing. What is worth mentioning, however, is the change that the device brings for the company: the Nokia 500 is the first of all future Nokia phones to be named with just numbers, no letters.
Nokia has finally admitted that its naming structure is a complete mess, and has decided to change it. The company listed three reasons for the sudden change:
- Don't tell us what to do with our phones: most phones nowadays have very adaptable hardware and software, meaning you can do a lot with them, even if they aren't advertised for a given task. Nokia's classifications were indicators, but often didn't match-up to what people were actually doing with their phones.
- Hard to compare: how does the Nokia C7 differ from the Nokia X7, or the Nokia C3 from the Nokia C3-01. Which of them is the more expensive one?
- People are fine with numbers: consumers understand the logic behind "the bigger the number, the more you get" philosophy. Furthermore, used consistently over time, people learn to know roughly what to expect from a model using its number as a reference.
Nokia's new system works like this: the first number is the relative price/feature point, while the second two numbers gives each device a unique identifier within that point. In other words, Nokia can release 99 more phones at the 500 point before it has to recycle the name.
This is a system that few companies use, but I honestly wish everyone did. It's simple, concise, and gets the job done without any extra messiness.