What’s in a technology name?

Technology names are tough, we’ve become so desensitised to names such as the “Huawei G590″ or the “Lenovo T410″ that we accept arb naming conventions. There’s the classic example of how Steve Jobs returned to Apple in the late nineties and took their range from the likes of the “Quadra 700″ to the infinitely simpler “iBook”, “iMac”, “Powerbook” and “PowerMac”. Even though there were more than one product per range, you knew immediately which product was for you based on your computing requirements.

Product naming can often go horribly wrong when random words are slapped onto a product. Take for example HTC, a phone manufacturer that make some of the best phones in the market however they’re being crushed by rivals Samsung. HTC have a major problem: the naming of their products are terrible. Here’s an example of some of the products they’re released over the last few years:

  • One
  • One X
  • One V
  • One S
  • Desire
  • Desire HD
  • Butterfly
  • First

This is a range of models that have come out in the past three years. There’s no progression in naming structure or any distinct explanation of where each device fits into the market.

The same can be said for Huawei. The company have recently released the “Ascend P2″, the worlds slimmest smartphone. They also have a tablet called the “Mediapad” and another smartphone called the “G510″. What does this even mean and why is an Ascend P2 better than a G510? For that matter Huawei doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue does it?

Here’s my thought on the matter: it’s time for technology companies to stop allowing engineers to come up with the names of their products and let a marketer or product person provide something more meaningful. Here’s a tip Huawei: make three devices. An entry level, mid level and top end device then call them “small”, “medium” and “large”.

There’s no emotional connection to technology currently, something that desperately needs to be fixed.

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