Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Trouble With ... Nokia

A little over two years ago I wrote a prescription for Nokia. I said they should do many things, some of which were very wide of the mark versus what's actually happened and some of which were reasonably close.

One thing I thought was really important was that Nokia:
Develop a brilliant and obvious naming convention. Years ago when I started using Nokia I understood the convention ... There was the 6210 which was replaced by the 6310; not long after came the 7210 which I understood to be better still. It all went wrong with the 8xxx series - the 8250 was small and sexy, the 8800 was shaped like a banana. Now, I couldn't tell you how it works with C, E and N series.
On hearing that Nokia had chosen "Lumia" to lead their branding, I was impressed.  Lovely word.  But how confusing does the range look now:


Not yet two years old, the Lumia range already numbers 12 models (albeit with two coming soon and, apparently, only one marked as "best seller").  Looking at the pictures above, taken from the Nokia website, I struggle to figure out what's what (not aided, I think, by the overwhelming similarity of the screen images on each).

The 625 ... "lets you see more of everything" ...

... the 925 has eye catching design and Smart Camera ...

... the 920 has a Carl Zeiss lends and PureView technology (but perhaps not a Smart Camera?) ...
... the 520 has a 1Ghz processor (I've always wanted one of those, it's right after "ability to make calls" on my list of user needs) ...

... the 820 has colourful and wireless charging shells (is that what makes it a best seller)? ...

... and the 620 packs a punch (which presumably means it has none of the above, or perhaps all of it?)

Confused?  Yes, thought so.

Is a 6xx better than a 5xx?  Is a 925 better than a 920 but not as good as a 1020?

I'm told that there are other variants, such as the 928 which is exclusive to a US carrier and even a "Model T" which is exclusive to a Chinese carrier.

It begins to look like Nokia need to publish a simple key, as Which? does for Samsung TVs:
'D' is an LCD TV
'E' is a plasma TV
'EH' and 'ES' are LED TV models
The final four numbers signify the series - a '4000' model is from Series 4, a '5000' model from Series 5 and so on. The higher the number, the more premium the model is - ie it has more gadgets and better features.
Series 4: Entry-level range and all HD Ready (720p)
Series 5: Just above entry level. All are Full HD (1080p) and offer additional features - some are 3D and smart TVs
Series 6: Mid-range. All are Full HD (1080p) and offer additional features. All come with 3D and smart TV capability, plus Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners
Series 7: Premium models with a dual-core processor. In addition to the key features of the series below, there’s also a built-in camera and voice and motion control
Series 8: Flagship premium model. In addition to the features of the series below, this range features Samsung’s premium image processing and a touch-sensitive remote
Nokia also need, in my view, to introduce new brands to make it easier to choose between phones - they can stick to derivatives of Lumia if that's where their heart is (how about Lumila for cheaper phones? Lumaxa for the high end, flagship phone?) though I don't like those much.  Maybe Photia for the phones that focus (ha) on the camera. Or maybe they go for Lumia P for the multi-megapixel phone? 

Or perhaps Lumia Z for the Zombie phone ... because I think they might get there soon if they don't do something to make it easier for the customer to choose.