HMD Global, the owner of Nokia that lives across the street, has admitted their naming scheme of numbers with decimal increments and ‘plus’ updates is confusing.
Since HMD Global‘s revival of Nokia in January 2017 they’ve adopted a numeric naming system from 1 – 9 signifying tier with yearly increments represented with decimal increases of +0.1, and optional Plus variants 6 months after the X.x model, such as the Nokia 7 followed by the Nokia 7 Plus then Nokia 7.1 which was actually downgrade, which was succeeded by the 8.1 which was the true successor to the 7 Plus…
That’s not even the full extents of their confusingly overlapping product lineup but if that’s already confusing for you, don’t worry; absolute nerds like myself may be able to remember the differences and newest models, but for most people this naming scheme is understandably a confusing mess, and now HMD Global’s Pranav Shroff has agreed.
Shroff explained that back in 2017 when they released their original lineup they had a clear plan, but the naming got confusing last year when they switched to the ‘Nokia smartphone for everyone’ strategy and released a slew of devices from the ultra-budget Nokia 1 to the premium Nokia 8 Sirocco.
Shroff is proud of the diversity in their lineup but believes:
We owe it to our consumers — and generally everybody — to make sure it [their product stack] is clear. If we have not made that clear, and I agree that we haven’t, then that is something we need to work on better.
To that end, Shroff suggested HMD and Nokia may shift to a new naming scheme, ditch the ‘Plus’ semi-annual updates, and perhaps even reduce the number of models in their stack.
I could imagine them switching to an alpha-numeric system like Samsung with their S#, A#, M#, etc… brands given it’s simpler to understand and they have already sort of begun it in China with names like the ‘X6’ for what is the global 6.1 Plus, and ‘X7’ for the 8.1, but who really knows? They don’t.
It would be great if Nokia could do a thorough rebrand and refresh their lineup, maybe shift around some relative pricing too; with devices like the great value Nokia 2.2 arguably being better than the 3.1, and the 8.1 being the true but overpriced successor to the 7 Plus but not 7.1, they could do some great things.