AH Alphabet-2-1

AH Primetime: Android OEMs & Their Love For The Alphabet

November 13, 2015 - Written By Kishalaya Kundu

It is common knowledge for most technophiles that Google’s naming convention for successive Android versions officially involves the names of deserts and items of confectionary of various descriptions in the alphabetical order. It started years ago in the platform’s Cupcake days, and continued on with Donut, ‰clair, Froyo (for Fried Yogurt), Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKat, Lollipop and of course, the latest version – Marshmallow. That however is not where the company’s love affair with the alphabet ends. Au contraire, Google and its co-founders, Messers Page and Brin are so enamored with the ABCs that while restructuring the company earlier this year, the guys over at Mountain View decided to name the newly created holding company for Google and its various other businesses, ‘Alphabet Inc.’!

The funny thing is, Google is apparently not the only one associated with the Android eco-system that seems to be obsessed with the alphabet. Most of the top-tier Android OEMs seem to have caught the alphabet bug from the search giant at some stage and somewhere down the line, decided it would be a good idea to name their Android devices after letters of the alphabet. With literally hundreds of brands selling thousands of models of Android phones, it could get a little confusing, what with multiple brands at times using the exact same letter of the alphabet for some of their popular models. Like for instance, Motorola and LG both use the letter ‘G’ for their best-known handsets, the Moto G series of mid-rangers from the Lenovo-owned American brand Motorola and the ‘G’ series (originally Optimus G) of flagship handsets from South Korean manufacturer, LG.

The phenomenon has been documented in the past as well, but now, a Reddit user has come up with what seems to be a fairly detailed and comprehensive list of devices from leading Android OEMs that make use of the various letters of the English alphabet to name their phones. According to the list compiled by Reddit user ‘OPQuitYourBS’, almost all the letters of the alphabet have now been used by the OEMs at some stage for their Android phones. The poster says that only smartphones are included on the list and not tablets, and that Wikipedia and GSMArena were referenced for research. The list includes only the biggest Android OEMs, and involves various models from Samsung, LG, Sony, HTC, Lenovo (plus Motorola) and Huawei. The poster also notes that Xiaomi is the only large Android OEM that doesn’t figure on the list, as the company doesn’t use letters of the alphabet to name its phones.

While there’s no guarantee that the list is exhaustive, this is pretty much the closest anyone has got in recent times to making such a compilation, which makes it worthwhile to take a close look at it. While ‘S’ seems to be the most popular choice for some reason, with all but one OEM out of the five using it at some stage, B, H, I, N, O and R are the only letters of the alphabet that are actually missing in action completely. That means at least twenty out of the 26 letters of the alphabet have been used by leading Android OEMs at one stage or another to name their handsets. As for the list itself, the very first device ever launched as part of a lineup is taken into account, meaning it includes the Galaxy S instead of the S6 or S6+ and the Xperia Z instead of the Xperia Z5 and so on.

Going through the entire lot in the order of the alphabet, both Samsung and HTC has contenders first up, with the Galaxy A from the South Korean company and the recently-launched One A9 from the Taiwanese vendor. ‘B’ of course is not taken as yet as already mentioned, but Sony made sure ‘C’ is spoken for with its Xperia C from 2013, while ‘D’ is taken care of by Huawei, who released an Ascend D1 back in 2012. As for the fifth letter of the alphabet, Samsung has its Galaxy E5, HTC has its One E8 and Sony and Motorola have their entry-level handsets, the Xperia E and the Moto E respectively on the list. LG seems to be the only OEM to have had a liking for the letter ‘F’, as it once released a handset by the name of Optimus F3, though ‘G’ has more takers with LG, Motorola and Huawei each having their contenders on the list, namely the Optimus G, the Moto G and the Ascend G7 respectively.

With ‘H’ and ‘I’ still waiting for some love, ‘J’ scored big time with multinationals like Samsung and Sony each deeming it good enough to name their devices with it. While Samsung has an entire Galaxy J range that started with the original Galaxy J, Sony had, back in 2012, released a mid-ranger called the Xperia J. With ‘K’, you get the Galaxy K from Samsung and the Lenovo K3 from the Chinese multinational. Sony, LG and HTC all have products named with ‘L’ – the Xperia L, the Optimus L2 and the Desire L respectively, while ‘M’ has also been used by Sony (Xperia M), LG (Optimus M) and HTC (One M7). Skipping over ‘N’ and ‘O’ and looking for devices named with ‘P’, the search ends with the Sony Xperia P, although, there’s also the HTC Desire P, the Huawei Ascend P1 and the Lenovo Vibe P1. ‘Q’ has its takers with the Samsung Gravity Q, LG Optimus Q, HTC Desire Q and Huawei Ascend Q.

While ‘R’ is the final letter of the alphabet that still hasn’t found any takers, ‘S’ more than makes up for it by being the most-used letter on the list as mentioned earlier already. With only Motorola giving the letter a miss, you get the Samsung Galaxy S, Sony Xperia S, LG Optimus S, HTC One S, Huawei Mate S and the Lenovo Vibe S1, all of which come with the letter as part of their names. Next up, Sony and LG make their presence felt again with the Xperia T and the Optimus T. The Xperia U from Sony and the Desire U from HTC take care of ‘U’, while the Samsung Galaxy V, Sony Xperia V, the recently-launched LG V10 and the HTC One V make sure ‘V’ is also a fairly popular letter when it comes to smartphone nomenclature.

Coming to the last four letters of the alphabet, while Samsung had a Galaxy ‘W’ at some stage, Huawei also had an Ascend W1. The Sony Xperia X10, the HTC One X, Motorola’s Moto X and Droid X and the Huawei Ascend X make sure that ‘X’ is yet another popular letter of the alphabet for Android vendors, while ‘Y’ already has two devices named after it – the entry-level Samsung Galaxy Y from a few years back along with the Huawei Ascend Y. As for the final letter of the alphabet, the most famous range of devices using it is of course, Sony’s Xperia ‘Z’ range of flagships from the company, but other devices like the Samsung Galaxy Z3, the LG Optimus Z and the recently-released Lenovo Zuk Z1 have all made used of the letter at some stage or another.

One thing that’s evident from the list is that contrary to expectations, Samsung is not the OEM making use of the most number of letters in their phones. That dubious distinction goes to Japanese consumer electronics giant Sony, with as many as twelve letters used up by the company over the years. Samsung however, isn’t much far behind, with as many as eleven letters in use by its various handsets, past and present. As for the rest of the OEMs, HTC and LG have both used as many as nine letters apiece, while Huawei comes in at eight, which is the same number of letters used by Lenovo and its subsidiary Motorola combined, with each using just four.