When naming one's child there are two ways to go: The risky character-building route, or the safe, but possibly lame, classic name path. The same goes for phones. We came to this realization while looking at the funny Internet thing of the moment, Intercom's "Is it a Condom, or Is it an Android?," which pokes fun at phone names. Desire? Touch? Intensity? A lot of phones share names with condoms. And, just as many phones have ridiculous monikers, we also get phones with boring names, like the iPhone series. Like naming babies, both tactics can backfire. Classic names on bad phones come off as lame. And, while a good phone can overcome its challenging name, a bad phone ends up sounding like a condom.
We've seen both success and failure from brands that have taken the standard route. Take the iPhone. Apple has stuck with that same basic formulation, slapping a new number (and sometimes letter) on each upgrade. When Apple didn't deliver the iPhone 5, as the techies had expected, some tech bloggers at first grumbled that barely modifying the old name meant the product was a not-new enough phone. But they warmed to it in no time -- about one week -- because the iPhone 4S proved itself and managed to overcome its lame branding. "The question isn’t what’s in a name -- it’s what’s in a phone. And the answer is: A lot of amazing technology. And some of it feels like magic," wrote The New York Times' David Pogue in his review of the phone a week after its release.