Badly named toys

The personal computing revolution has brought us many advantages – and some products with truly dreadful names

A GOOD name can help make or break a product. Despite being at the cutting-edge of technology, a surprising number of smartphones and tablets have rather clunky identities, according to Jonathan Leggett from

1 The new iPad “We’re not the first people to note that Apple’s genius lies as much in its marketing as in the quality of its products. And that’s why its decision to call the iPad 3, the iPad/the new iPad is so baffling.

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“According to the company’s Phil Schiller, Apple named it thus because it didn’t want to be predictable. We’d have taken ‘predictable’ over something that feels as clumsy and directionless as this.

“First up, it’s confusing for customers. But more pertinently it’s no kind of differentiator from previous iPads.”

2 Generic Android names “Late last year, some waggish and sharp-eyed tech fans launched an Android phone name generator. Click on the link and it creates imaginary phone titles from a list of existing kits, such as the Motorola Hero Slide Prime One and LG Bionic Epic E V G1. Thanks to mucho-macho staples such as the letter ‘X’ and Top Gear-speak like ‘nitro’, ’devour’, ‘epic’ and ‘thunderbolt’, the frightening thing is just how plausible all these composite names are.”

3 Casio G’zOne Ravine “Casio’s tilt at the phone market always seemed fated to fail … and this ridiculous name didn’t help.

“It’s the abuse of punctuation in a bid to make the name seem more attention-grabbing that really irks.”

4Sony Ericsson Satio “Was it pronounced with a hard ‘t’ like patio? Or with a soft one like ratio? No-one knew. Fewer cared.”

5 Nokia N8 “Nokia stuck with its old-fashioned naming convention of numbers and letters long after it had failed to make (business) sense. Nowhere was this more evident than the N8. At a time when Nokia needed to convince everyone it was doing great new things, it went with a name that told all and sundry that this was another superannuated Symbian phone.”

6 HTC ChaCha “HTC marketed the ChaCha and Salas to young, social-networking fixated consumers. But rather than opting for a gender-neutral name that communicated that these were phones with an accent on fun, they went with a dance-y moniker that appeared to say that these were principally for girls. Way to slash your demographic.”

7 Samsung :) “Remember when Prince changed his name to a symbol? Remember how ridiculous it made him seem? Samsung didn’t. And so the company chose an emoticon for this messaging focussed smartie. How do you Google it to buy it? Who knows. File under ‘massive fail’.”

8 T-Mobile G1 “The first-ever Android phone set tongues wagging when it racked up one million sales. But you have to wonder if it might have done even more had Google insisted it didn’t carry the network branding that in consumers’ minds is forever tied to cheap, low-end handsets.”

9 HTC Flyer “The field of Android tablets is littered with flops. But none crashed and burned quite as badly as the very ground-bound Flyer. Available at a heavily discounted price within months of launch, it’s an object lesson in the perils of choosing a brave name that later looks woefully hubristic.”

10 LG Optimus 4X “It is a truth universally known that mainstream phone buyers don’t care how many processors and how many cores they have. So quite why LG touted this kit’s quad-core chipset so loudly remains a mystery to vex our generation’s finest minds.”