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April 18, 2008

A Product Code Name Worth Watching

Remember when tubular was a term of approbation? Okay, maybe not.
nokiatubephone.png
Nokia’s code name for its proposed “iPhone killer” is Tube.

The mobile giant isn’t big on giving its products real names; Symbian Freak speculates that the Tube is part of the S60 line. For the general public, however, Tube is easier to remember.

Engadget describes the Tube as “grossly codenamed," and I have to agree that tube is not an especially sexy word, and in one meaning, conveys entirely the wrong shape for a mobile phone.
iphone-parallels.png
But there is logic to the name. The dominant feature of the Nokia Tube, like the Apple iPhone, is its screen. It’s a phone for watching video on. Back in the day, everyone referred to the television as the tube.

These days, not even televisions have vacuum tubes in them any more, but language can be slow to catch up with technology. We still talk about rewinding digital audio and video files. Although it may be that a more typical alphanumeric Nokia designation will actually sound more modern.

Besides, the example of pace Microsoft, the real name is supposed to be cooler than the code name.

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Posted by Diane Prange at April 18, 2008 8:05 AM
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1 Comment

Assuming the phone will offer internet access, maybe the name is a reference to Senator Ted Stevens and his description of the web as "a series of tubes."

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