While Nokia's Windows Phone 7 devices were referred to by their code names, including Sea Ray, via rumor stories on the Internet, the company officially announced that the first two devices with Microsoft's mobile operating system will use the Lumia brand name. But how in the wide, wide world of sports did Nokia come up with Lumia as the name in the first place?
Nokia attempts to explain its thinking in a new post on its web site. After spending a lot of time going over how businesses have named its products over the decades (the Ford Edsel is used as an example of a failed name for a product) the post says that Nokia considered nearly 200 names at first for its Windows Phone 7 family of smartphones before cutting it down to a smaller handful of labels.
According to the site, "Then experts in 84 dialects started work, checking for any negative associations in different languages and assessing how easy they are to pronounce." The Spanish slang word lumi came up as a possible name. Lumi has also been used by Finland residents as a name for snow, with lumia being the plural version of the word. However, it also suggests "light" or "style" to people who use it. Nokia thought that Lumia was "a name that sounded great when used with the Nokia brand name and ended with a vowel to make it work phonetically."
So is the Lumia name going to work for Nokia? It certainly is betting the entire company on the success of the Windows Phone 7-based smartphones. We will soon see if the Lumia name will be one that marks success or failure when the brand launches later this month.