/ Technology

Stop slapping stupid Ss on gadget names

Quite a few years ago I can remember watching a snippet of an interview with the pop group S-Club 7 where they were asked what the “S” stood for. Now we’re having to ask the same question of tech manufacturers.

When S-Club 7 answered that question, they laughed and said it could stand for whatever you wanted it to – which I thought was a particularly brave answer considering some of the pretty choice words that immediately sprung to my mind.

In the last year or so, technology companies seem to have taken a leaf out of the bubblegum pop group’s – undoubtedly ghostwritten – book and began liberally applying nonsensical Ss to any product they like.

First of all it seemed to just be limited to mobile phones, with the Samsung Galaxy S and the HTC Desire S being the most notable examples. But now we are being “treated” to even more, and it’s not just mobiles.

So far at the Berlin technology show IFA 2011 we have seen the Sony Tablet S and the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S and now it is even spreading to accessories with the Samsung Galaxy Note coming packaged with an “S Pen”.

What’s with all the letter suffixes?

Al Warman has spoken before about the ridiculous product names that pieces of tech are subjected to and I don’t think that will ever change. What makes me even more annoyed is that now they seem to be so low on ridiculous names that they are just starting to add ridiculous letters to the end of old names.

Samsung recently announced its latest naming “convention” for its mobile phones and finally got around to saying what its S stood for. The system consists of each mobile having a letter at the end of its name that stands for either S (Super smart), R (Royal), W (Wonder), M (Magical) or Y (Young).

Now yes, that means these letters actually do stand for something, but they sound perilously close to the lyrics of a certain late 90s pop group. Is it really that difficult to come up with a name that doesn’t sound like a theme park ride?

Are you wowed by the chance to own a Magical mobile? Or will a Royal phone get you upgrading early? It’s all a bit random, but better than slapping an “S” at the end of everything.


Sad people working for second rate companies probably earn bonuses for dreaming up these names. Treat them with the contempt they deserve.

This is my big bugbear – what do all these ‘S’s stand for!? I have an HTC Incredible S, which is meant to be better than the ‘HTC Incredible’ in America. But why should an S mean it’s better? Why not the Incredible 2? Or some other pretentious, self-congratulatory name? The HTC Flipping Amazing…


Sports? S***? Sucker? Superduper? Special? Stupid?

I’m with you on this one Patrick, seems like just a way to increase the price of a particular model by adding a few bells and whistles.

I understand it with cars as S normally means Sports and you get an increase in power/performance/handling etc, plus a few extra gizmos. Personally I think everyone has copied apple again, who actually copied Porsche 🙂

How have they copied Apple? Apple just goes the numerical way… apart from the 3GS. I think it was more Samsung’s doing.

And as far as the iPhone goes, the iPhone 4 is the 2nd iPhone, not the 4th! The 3G and the 3GS were just revisions of the former. I get frustrated with people saying that the iPhone 4 has 4G – no, no it doesn’t.

Perhaps you are expected to assume it has 4G. There is a long history of manufacturers confusing the unwary, whether this is accidental or deliberate.

Patrick, it was the 3GS I was referring to.

An iphone 3G that was a bit faster and worked a lot better, they put an “S” on the end, like a Porsche

I wonder if there are any gadgets with names that are unintentional oxymorons.

Not a gadget, but Microsoft Works is a well known example.

To be provocative, I wonder if this affectation is any different from having a question mark in Which? 🙂

Writing Which? Magazine or Which? Conversation always seems odd to me, but it is distinctive and probably helps when doing a Google search.

Clearly, you have already forgotten about the e-Nouns that plagued us at the turn of the Century, as every marketing communication tried to spice up tired old products and concepts by sound e-Hip in association with e-Business, e-Commerce, e-Dating, e-Learning, e-Mail … .

e-Em S

e-savings…. they haven’t died out yet Em!

Wavechange, the question mark is all part of the brand that dates back to the magazine’s inception 50 years ago. It sets it apart from simply the word ‘which’… and of course it does help with Google a little 🙂 Our friends over at BitterWallet like to call us ‘Which!’ with an exclamation 🙂

Interesting. The question mark is certainly useful and made it easy to track down a picture of the first issue of Which? Magazine on this website:

Pity it refers to the Consumer’s Association. Maybe there was no great expectations with the first issue. 🙂

I had not realise that the organisation was set up as a charity.

You can read about the history of Which? right here 🙂 http://www.which.co.uk/about-which/who-we-are/overview/the-history-of-which/

Sorry wavechange, I meant to post this on the main thread, not reply to your post.

e-Em S

And as they say in Yorkshire, e-bah-gum, or something like that. I hope that this is not politically incorrect.

it stands for Satan !!! lol

Another thing is first comes the XXX; then they have to get us to by a better version, and the XXX S is released. This makes the XXX ‘obsolete’ for people who must have the latest (similarity to Nike, Reebok, etc., interesting?). The poor bloke would have got twice the amount if sold on E-bay, and now the S version is out, the price perhaps drops, say 50%.

This is all marketing. Looking carefully, the manufacturers have to find something ‘additional and that looks useful’ so we buy the new product and sell off the old one on E-Bay. Those on the ‘WeBuyYourPhone’ type of company are benefiting enormously be the S system – last week, £20, this week, £2 – S has been released – but in countries they sell them (e.g. developing countries, the price they get remains the same for months to come, profits increase, people ripped off – nothing new here. This type of issue has been around for ages.

The IPAD was supposed to flop, now tablets are not only prescribed by doctors but Apples!!