Why are there no iPhone 9, BB9 and Windows 9? Why are most relevant tech giants skipping the “9” series? Why did Microsoft release 7,8 versions of windows Os then suddenly jumped to Windows 10 Os without the Windows 9 Os? Blackberry did the same thing by skipping BB9 to launch BB10 series. As if these aren’t enough, Apple this week, skipped iPhone 9 to unveil the iPhone 10 (iPhone X). Now the question is, why are mobile tech giants skipping the “9” series? Could there be a myth to this?
Well your curiosity ends here as Mister Mo helps shed more lights to help unravel this age long mystery below.
MARKETING AND PERCEPTION
If you want to sell products across multiple cultures, the rule of the game is to understand those cultures and their superstitions. This is the 21st century, but human nature is still essentially the same. For example, even in many places in the West, the number 13 is considered a number for bad luck. Remember “Friday the 13th”? Aha. Because of this, you are not likely to see Windows 13 or an iPhone 13 in the future.
Also, in countries like Korea, China and Japan, the number 4 is a synonym for the word “death”. As such, brands active in those countries tend to avoid it. Who wants to buy death?! I remember Nokia avoiding that number in phones they shipped to that region.
Don’t forget it. If you want to sell products (consumer products especially) across multiple cultures, the rule of the game is to understand those cultures and their superstitions. Sometimes, brands take a chance and go ahead to push a product associated with an unlucky/negative number anyway. Sometimes, that is part of the game. But with the consumer public, perception is a factor. A strong factor.
THE NUMBER 9
So, what’s up with the number 9? It is a curse word in Chinese and a synonym for suffering, agony or torture in Japanese. That’s what.
Note the Chinese connection. That is a huge market that big brands cannot afford to play with, so those brands who wish to sell there avoid numbers that can mess up product perception. In marketing after all, perception is everything.
Now you know why there is no iPhone 9. Apple jumped and passed the Chinese curse word. And when I say curse in this context, I do not mean swear.