Mobile Crunch reports that Samsung will drop the brand name from the Omnia HD phone and will release it under the generic i8910 moniker. Due to the fear that there will be confusion between original Omnia, which was Windows Mobile phone and i8910, which runs on Symbian OS.
PortableGear.nl confirms that, with the clarification from Samsung that they are dropping only the Omnia part of the name and keeping the HD. So the handset will be known as Samsung i8910 HD.
WTF?! Is this some kind of a week late April Fools prank?
I still have my doubts. But if this is true, to me it sounds so stupid, on so many levels, that I don’t know where to start.
Ok. Let’s start from the beginning.
- Omnia HD is a great name for this particular handset. It conveys the high end top of the line image ( and features like great, hi-res AMOLED display, HD video recording, etc;) of the phone perfectly.
- The phone already got a huge publicity and IS KNOWN to every early adopter high tech fan as Omnia HD
- Samsung already invested a lot in promoting the brand. And succeded. Even signing up a crowd of ambassadors to run around with OMNIA HD promoting it’s cool features.
- Since when Samsung, or average Joe for that matter, started to care about the operating system in the phone? Isn’t the TouchWiz interface the thing Samsung tries to differentiate it’s phones with? Even to the point of making it a new platform of mobile app development across all of it’s phones, no matter what OS?
So now, with the phone almost ready to ship, an (my guess) tons of marketing materials in print and in production, including some at the carriers that already ordered the phone, they go and drop everything they’ve invested and achieved for Omnia HD? And for what?
To please the hardcore Windows Mobile fan crowd that went mad that the latest great Samsung phone went to rival OS? How many people bought the original Omnia because it was a Windows Mobile phone, and how many because it was a great high specc’ed touchphone?
So original Omnia owners might get confused when upgrading? Just how many of them are planning to get a new phone less then a year from the original purchase?
Lately, to me, Samsung sounded pretty erratic with it’s marketing message. Especially the international efforts. E.g. it does not have any consitent brand for many of it’s touchphones. Even original Omnia is known as Player Addict in France and Vitu in Russia and CIS countries. Then there are Samsung Tocco and Ultra Tocco phones in U.K. – which are known as F480 Touch and UltraTouch elswere. And don’t get me started on the whole Anycall and Haptic thing in Korea.
But todays name change for Omnia HD is on a whole new level of erratic. Do they have someone in marketing department who thinks about things in advance? You know, things like deciding on a marketing message and sticking to it. Or at least avoiding conflicts between different lines of devices, that makes you do radical changes few weeks before the launch of device?
I hope there is some grand plan here – different brands for different lines of Samsung’s own feature phones and WM, Symbian and Android smartphones. Or some big Samsung/ Windows Phone push that was worth the trouble. Or something else that we’ll know pretty soon.
But on the surface the decision on the latest Samsung smartphone sounds really really not smart.
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