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Tuesday
Mar292011

Why HTC EVO 4G is Still Popular, What Others can Learn From It

So after nine months (going on 10), the HTC EVO is still considered the best Android phone.  Taylor Martin of PhoneDog cites some of the reasons it's still top dog is Sprint's plan prices (starting at $79.99), having the first 4.3" display, HTC Sense, and the first to be marketed with 4G.

There's one more reason why it's still a popular phone.  Like the original Droid  on Verizon, the HTC EVO 4G is heavily marketed.  Even after 10 months, I still see ads for it.  It was also the only ad that featured the offical Android mascott (although I am starting to see T-Mobile using the mascott for their myTouch 4G now).  The only thing that would make it more popular would be commercials like Apple's, which shows people how to use the phone and features, then later on, the apps that can be had.

 

I've been saying this before, and I'll say it again: consistency is key.  HTC's next phone needs to bear the same EVO moniker.  There's a reason why the iPhone is still called the iPhone after 4 generations (and probably even the 5th).  People know it by name.  I think it was a mistake to call the their smaller keyboard phone an HTC EVO Shift.  People have a certain expectation when the name EVO is used, and that is a large screen, fast phone, and HTC Sense.

In fact, now that they have a hit, they shouldn't have allowed AT&T to call it the Inspire 4G, or Verizon to call it the Thunderbolt (all of them are basically the same phone if not the same DNA as the EVO).  They missed an opportunity to call all of them EVO 4Gs (unless it's a Sprint name like Droid is to Verizon and myTouch is to T-Mobile).  All of them are using their carrier's respective 4G network (at least in terms of marketing).  All of them share the original EVO DNA (large screen, Snapdragon SoC, 8MP camera, HTC Sense, etc).  It would have solidified HTC EVO brand name, much like Apple's iPhone.

Even though I am not a fan of the uber large 4.3" display, it's what made the EVO an EVO, and they should work on a next gen EVO with a similarly large display with the usual next gen specs (dual core processor, better cameras, 1080p video catpure, Gingerbread, etc).  It should still have the EVO moniker that exudes "the next one" (EVO II, EVO 2, etc.).  Please don't tack on another arbitrary name to confuse people (EVO Shift, EVO 3D, etc).

 

Samsung would have probably done better if their Galaxy S phones were simply called Galaxy S.  It's all about name recognition!  The "DNA" of the Galaxy S phones are light weight, 4" Super AMOLED display, and their quick Hummingbird SoC with a GPU that's superior than their competition of that generation.  Samsung's is doing the right thing by continuing their line with the Galaxy S II.  I'm excited, as it even looks like it evolved from the original, and have the usual upgrades that make it the next gen phone (dual core CPUs for one thing).

Of course, the real problem is that American carriers may not let them do that.  What's ironic is if one device of the same name becomes well known (think iPhone again), people want to buy it from their respective carrier no matter what.  How many people on T-Mobile and Sprint still want the iPhone on their carrier?  Most people don't want to leave their current provider, so letting Samsung call their Galaxy S phones "Galaxy S" would actually serve the carriers, too!

Right now, Samsung is allowing the carriers to advertise their phone.  This is because it's hard to create an ad touting 5 different phones which are all the same.  It will confuse people.  I mean, how would Samsung's marketing team promote 5 different names for the same phone in 30 seconds?  Can you imagine?  "Introducing the Samsung Galaxy S line of phones: Vibrant, Captivate, Fascinate, Epic 4G, and Mesmorize.  Available on T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and US Cellular".  I'm very much in the know when it comes to mobile phones, and I would still go "what?".

 

What's in a Name?

There's just too many product names out there, and it's not helping that a new one is created with each Android phone that is released (which is about every other week).  It causes confusion, and that won't help any phone manufacturer or carrier.  In fact, it helps to serve Apple to become more dominate thanks to the name recognition.

HTC releases the most phones than any other manufacturer in secession, so they are also the biggest offender of coming up with too many different names.

It's all about keeping the same name and design DNA once you find something that sticks to the wall.

HTC, you have your EVO.

Samsung, you have your Galaxy S (thanks for calling your tablets Galaxy Tab, too!).

LG, you have your Optimus.

Motorola, you have your Droid (and you better try to take the name from Verizon).

Google, pick a damn partner and you'll have your Nexus.

I've said it before, and I will say it again: Once you find a winning combination of design, features, and yes, a name that sticks to the wall, KEEP IT.  You'll win.  You'll all win.  Seriously.

Please no more Samsung Vibrant, Samsung Captivate, Samsung Facinate, Samsung Mesmorize, HTC Inspire, Motorola Atrix, HTC EVO Shift, HTC Epic, HTC Desire, HTC Incredible, HTC Thunderbolt, HTC Lightning, HTC Unicorn, HTC Copulate...

Come on, guys.  Cut the crap, cut the confusion, and cut down on the names.

 

Oh, and let Amazon be responsible for the app, music, and book marketplace for you.  After all, you need a strong partner like them to combat Apple iTunes and iBooks.

 

 

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