Thu, Feb 03, 2005 - Page 15 News List

Model numbers explained

Given that there are usually more than 10 new brands of mobile phones every year and the big names have different lines, it sometimes gets a bit difficult to tell one phone from the other. Because of this most phones are categorized with a model number preceded by a letter, and although some letters are chosen randomly, others are actually abbreviatians for something pertinent.

Take Motorola, which has five major categories of phones. The first is the popular ``Moto-chic'' clam shell, identi-fied by the letter ``V'' followed by a number: V80, V878 or V60. Then there's ``Moto-tech'' smart phones, with the letter ``A'': A768i or A780. The letter ``C'' signifies the entry-level phone with basic functions, as in the C650, C550 and C375. The ``Moto media,'' with its more advanced entertainment functions, has the ``E'' prefix, such as the E398 and E680. The ``Moto Pro'' segment is a little more special and at present only has two phones, the MPx and MPx220.

LG already has 14 models on the market in Taiwan. In the beginning, there was the G series -- quite easy to remember. But then the range grew and the G7200 was released last year, only to be superceded by the T, F, L and C lines. The first two letters are short for the English words ``technique'' and ``fashion,'' while the last two come from the Chinese words for ``stylish'' and ``basic.''

There might be some initial confusion over what difference there is between the ``fashionable'' F series and the ``stylish'' L series. The fashionistas tell us that the F2100 has a more mature beauty, while the L1100 and L3100 are more radically chic and are intended for the young and trendy.

As for Sony Ericsson, which has placed its emphasis on quality rather than quantity, it only has 10 models or so out on the market, so it isn't as difficult to get confused. And in any case, the letters before the model number signify something quiet different. Sony Ericsson's T series uses a vertical format; its Z series folds in half; its P series are smart; its K series are equipped with cameras; and its J series are that now hard-to-find article: a cell phone that cannot take photographs.

Generally, the higher the number that follows the letter, the more functions the cell phone has. In Sony Ericssons, the K700i and the K500i might look alike, but its what's inside that makes all the difference: 41 megabites of memory as opposed to just 12 megabites.

The letter that follows the model number in the Sony Ericsson series also performs the important function of differentiating region. The ``i'' at the end of K700i designates an international version, an ``a'' designates an American version and ``c'' designates the version for China.

Nokia stands out in not using letters to categorize its cell phones. Since it started out, it has always used four numbers to designate its models.

Looking at the various models and their numbers, we can work out that the models starting with ``3'' are intended for the younger market. The musical 3300 and the colorful 3100/3220 with its array of interchangeable multicolored cases attest to this.

Meanwhile, the ``6'' series are targeted at executives. These have evolved from the practical designs for office workers into smart phones with a slew of functions that can cater to the needs of the busiest executive.

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