According to David Smith, senior director of handheld product management at RIM and one of the leaders of the BlackBerry Storm team, it turns out choosing the name behind a BlackBerry didn't turn out as smoothly as RIM had hoped.
"When we created the product, we created internal codenames for the products. The codename that we chose for this product was the Storm. That was our internal, secret codename between Vodafone, Verizon and ourselves that we used when we had joint meetings between the three parties to work on the Storm," Mr. Smith told the Financial Post in a recent interview at the company's headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario.
"A couple months into the program we got to the point where we said we had to get our marketing team working on the name. They went off and do what they do in terms of coming up with the right name for the product. They came back and said 'We want to call it the BlackBerry Storm.' They just loved the Storm metaphor and what it would be - 'There's a Storm coming' and so on."
It turns out the marketers decision (or lack of imagination, depending on how you look at it) created a dillema for RIM. The company has a policy where they do not name the products whatever codename is assigned to it during development and production to protect against leaks. So, a new codename was created, Mr. Smith said.
"We don't want to because it if there is a leak or something gets out on a blog or something, we don't want it to be the name of the product. What we did is to come up with a new name, the Thunder. Thunder was our new internal codename," he said.
"In fact on my own BlackBerry, when I was sending e-mails about the product, I actually put in my auto-text, if I wrote the name 'Storm' it would auto-text and change the name to 'Thunder.'"
Pretty solid explanation, huh? I love the BlackBerry Storm name. I'm glad RIM's marketing team took the lazy approach on this one. I just hope they can come up with something equally good (or even better) if their next touchscreen variation goes to market under a different brand. Any suggestions? How about the BlackBerry Slash? Or the Swipe? Or should we be thinking weather still (Hurricane?!). Any suggestions? Post them in the comments!