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Most Interesting Thing About the iPhone 4: THE NUMBER 4

When I saw the headline for the latest generation of the iPhone, I was brought back to a moment within a Nokia press conference. I had inquired about nomenclature (“how does Nokia name their phones?”). Notice that never in the history of Nokia has a phone been named with a number “4.” The scale goes up from 1100, 2100, 3650 … it skips 4 .. then moves on to 5530, 6310, etc. The same goes for several other tech brands such as Canon and Palm.

In Chinese numerology, the number “4” signifies death. Nokia is a Finnish company with a wide penetration in Asia. That’s a big market. Several brands have taken this into account when naming products because it does affect sales. Did Apple miss this out, or are they intentionally doing this because they, frankly, don’t give a damn?

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

9 replies on “Most Interesting Thing About the iPhone 4: THE NUMBER 4”


Maybe that’s the reason why there were a couple of deaths in their China factory. Just speculating.

But how will the Chinese react to this, we have to wait and see!

Very interesting! If they want to consider their Asian market, they should’ve gone with the iPhone 4th Gen or iPhone HD. But then, like you said maybe they just don’t give a damn. Hehe

Nokia did actually used the number 4 in naming one of their phone models. I owned one before, the Nokia 5140, a rugged phone for outdoorsy people.

Though the series never started in 4. (from example the 3310, 3650, then skipped to 5300, 5800, so on)

WOah!!! I’ve never considered that. It’s funny how I missed that out since my Lola is a super traditional Chinese.

Great insight kuya. I’m now super convinced not to buy the iPhone 4. (i’m just kidding :P)

Jobs and Apple have a more Japanese view on things than Chinese. In any case, those crazy sales numbers have made the “4” argument trivial. And I still consider 10.4 to be the greatest OS X update. 😉

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