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Symbian’s stupid high hat thingy: Dump it today!

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Every time I see someone write Symbian^3 or Symbian^4, I wince.

I wince because nobody outside the Symbianzone has a damn clue what the sodding ^ means.

Yet another branding problem with Nokia and Symbian.

Come on chaps? What’s wrong with ‘Symbian 3’?

Someone did tell me what the ^ or ‘stupid high hat thingy’ as my friend Richard refers to it means. I listened. And I thought it was stupid.

By all means, have your geeky fun, Symbian. But when you go out to the general marketplace, using the ^ alienates folk ever-so-slightly.

Can someone tell Symbian to sort this?

Update: To my slight embarrassment (in my defence, I couldn’t remember..), James in the comments reminded me that the high hat thingy means ‘to the power of’. The knowledge from those maths lessons decades ago is slowly returning. Symbian-to-the-power-of-3? What the hell does that mean? Its fine on it’s own, I suppose, but not when Symbian-to-the-power-of-4 comes along. What’s that mean? To the power of four what? Symbian x 4? Nonsensical. Symbian Cubed… yeah. I get that. Or Symbian Squared. Yeah. Dump it.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

24 replies on “Symbian’s stupid high hat thingy: Dump it today!”

“to the power of” it means to programmers. Like C# (which required education for non-musicians, but was also quite clever), I rather like it.

Oh wait – what? I’m not the target market?

From a more practicle point of view – things like twitter are how a lot of brands get mentioned and noticed now. Most users on twitter use a phone to connect and sen messages. How easy is it to get the ^ on a phone?

It is the little things like that that annoy me with nokia. That and the whole lets release a dozen different operating systems – 200 phones and only support the newest (from a disgruntled ex e71 owner who never got good software due to the landscape screen ๐Ÿ™ )

it’s a branding issue, just like the names of the nokia models.
honestly, what’s more pleasant to the ear of the masses? g6, n13, 39230 or iPhone? ๐Ÿ˜‰
surely, cryptic names are needed when your portfolio has/had hundreds of products. i think that won’t fly any longer.

Where is your article saying similar things about Apple and their “i”?

Write that, and then I can say you aren’t just picking on Nokia! ๐Ÿ™‚

^ = i – Just a naming convention, neither right nor wrong and at the end of the day, not a big deal at all.

Actually the issue might already have been (quietly) resolved at least in public from Nokia. It was noticeable at the Nokia World keynotes and speeches that it was either “Symbian” or “the new Symbian,” with no 1, 2, 3, 4 or whatever.

I firmly believe that if we were looking at iPhone (or iOS) ^4, or Android^3, the equivalent to this article wouldn’t exist.

I think you get my point ๐Ÿ™‚

Well sure they could call it Symbian 3, but if they are going to release new version of it every 6 months to a year, they soon will get to Symbian 6. (6-12 month seems to be what they have planned with S^2, S^3 and S^4)
Symbian 6 refers already to one version of Symbian OS. It was the first version of Symbian, in early 2000’s. Before that it was called EPOC OS 1-5. So they would have to start to reuse names or come up with new naming scheme in about a year.

And what stops you from calling it Symbian3, It’s up to you, whether you write the ^ , even though your heart will surely bleed for that, or put up with those who who whine “You should know better,,,it’s ^3”.

Anyhow I’ll call it just Symbian 3, why don’t you.

Might be that I wasn’t that clear about what I think might be their idea with this. ( it’s in the first paragraph)

“^” is ( at least in text) telling the difference between these new Symbian iterations and those old ones that started in early 2000’s. Symbian 3 would be still cleart, there never was a Symbian 3, but when it reaches Symbian 6, it can mean either Symbian OS 6 from 2001 (commonly referred as “Symbian 6”) or this new one. Now they have clear way of ( at least in text) of identifying the OS they are talking about.

Sure it’s not a big deal. And who knows, maybe they will change it. But I’m sure they have some good idea of the geek kind for it, you know, it might look or sound odd but it’s logical.


I think last one with old version numbers was Symbian 9.5 released in 2007, if they stop that there and use only ^X as the version number, they can do go with “Symbian X” in few years. Would that sound better?

I quite like this chap Anssi… all this interviews seem straight from the gut. Atleast he has the balls to stand up and speak his mind. it’s sad for Nokia that he is leaving.

Ewan, I love you to death, but when I’m dealing with an OS, I care less about branding and more about technical prowess. When those guys can transfer some manpower from marketing to engineering so there can be more runtime support and user controlled multitasking, you’ll have my ear. Until then, you can rename BMW to Daihatsu and Kia to Mercedes Ultra, and I’ll still choose the better ride.

Ewan, I love you to death, but when I’m dealing with an OS, I care less about branding and more about technical prowess. When those guys can transfer some manpower from marketing to engineering so there can be more runtime support and user controlled multitasking, you’ll have my ear. Until then, you can rename BMW to Daihatsu and Kia to Mercedes Ultra, and I’ll still choose the better ride.

On my Nokia N85 it is as easy to place the ^ character in a text message or any other text box as it is to place and other character such as a โ‚ฌ or a #…

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