Nokia: The weird case of 0s and 1s and 2s

When Nokia announced C6-01, the model number seemed odd and by the time I stopped scratching my head, trying to understand the model number, there was a flood of announcements and releases with weird model numbers.

There was a time when most of the brands used model numbers for phones while few brands like HTC and Motorola used names for each device. While brands like SE and Samsung have moved to names from numbers, Nokia is still relying on numbers. And recently they moved from four digit model number to extremely complex combination of digit,letter and special character (-). Let’s rewind to 2005-2006 era when Nokia used to rule the world with no threat to it’s throne.

  • N-Series: Premium lineup
  • E-Series: Business class
  • XpressMusic: Multimedia devices
  • 1xxx: Ultra basic series (dirt cheap phones meant for masses)
  • 2xxx: Basic series
  • 3xxx: Expression series (with color display etc.)
  • 5xxx: Mainstream series (on the go)
  • 6xxx: Classic Business series
  • 7xxx: Fashion & Experimental series
  • 8xxx: Premium phones
  • 9xxx: Smartphones (communicator etc.)
  • Vertu: Luxury series

This naming detail was found at

The model numbering was so clear that one mention of model number and even a person with little bit of knowledge would get a basic idea of what to expect from that phone and how much it may cost.

Recently, Nokia decided to scrap this series and instead go with a new naming model. As per this Nokia conversations blog post:

  • C-Series: Core Range of products
  • X-Series: Entertainment
  • E-Series: Business
  • N-Series: High End.

If the confusing number is not enough, the successive numbered device has no resemblance to current/earlier model.

  • X2 is a candy bar phone while X2-01 is a qwerty
  • C6 is a touch and qwerty model while C6-01 is radically different touch phone
  • C5 is a candy bar entry level S60 device while C5-03 is more like 5800XM’s successor. And where the hell did C5-01 and C5-02 go?
  • C2-00 and C2-01 are candy bar models. One is dual SIM while other is uni-SIM phone.
  • C3 is a qwerty while C3-01 is Touch-n-Type candy bar
  • X3 is slider while X3-02 is Touch-n-Type candy bar
  • C1-00, C1-01 and C1-02 are all dual SIM phones with very less difference. Why release three different phone that are priced same
  • X5 is a slider while X5-01 is qwerty slider that looks extremely weird

Here are four phones that are released/announced over the past few months by Nokia:



The above two models are X2 and X2-01. While X2 can be termed as an entertainment device after looking at specs, X2-01 doesn’t even come close. Moreover, when X2 is a candy bar model, I don’t understand why Nokia went ahead and made it’s successor a qwerty with inferior multimedia capability.


nokia c3-01

The above two models are C3 and C3-01. C3 was meant for text junkies and it was a big hit among those who love using qwerty. C3-01, well, is more of a fun device with Touch and Type. While it looks slightly like C5 and falls in X2’s league, I don’t understand why Nokia named it C3-01. How difficult is it to understand that C3 and X2-01 should be paired while X2 and C3-01 are more like a pair. Do note that paired means sharing same primary model number (c3, x2 etc.).

And this is even more ridiculous:


The C5 and C5-03. C3-01 is so similar to C5 in terms of build and C5-03 is similar to C6 and 5800xm in terms of build. Now, why the hell are these to paired?

First Nokia was confused over which OS to use (and is still confused whether to go with Symbian or MeeGo or WP7 or even go with Android), then they bring out model numbers that are difficult to understand than BSNL’s tariff plans. This is clearly a nightmare for PR folks, salesmen and buyers. How difficult is it to keep a standard and clear names. C5 is a candy bar, let all phones sharing the primary model number be candy bar phone with or without touch-n-type. Also, What’s up with the N series. Earlier, N-series naming was good too.

N7x –> entry level N-series

N8x –> midrange N-series

N9x –> High end N-series.

Then Nokia released their so called flagship under N8 name. Okay. Then, why didn’t they put C7 under N-series when all that it lacks is the camera prowess of N8. How does it get into their so called ‘core lineup’?

I sincerely urge Nokia to fire the entire department or team that is naming these phones and please please revert to the model that was working so well. Do not try to fix something that is not broken. get rid of the ‘-‘ based naming and please do not reuse the model numbers. It looks scary and confusing.


3 thoughts on “Nokia: The weird case of 0s and 1s and 2s

  1. Thanks your blog is awesome.
    thanks for sharing information.
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