Galaxy S 4, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S IV or Galaxy S® 4: How naming Samsung’s flagship smartphone is confusing

There’s a debate raging on Wikipedia at the moment over the way to call the successor of the Galaxy S3 (although the correct way of writing it is S III – note the space and the Roman characters). The follow-ups to the original Galaxy S were called S II and S III while the Galaxy Note was followed by the Note II.

But things have changed (and we won’t take credit for that change). The S4 is not known as the S IV (although some US-based news outlets: Venturebeat, Gizmodo or CBS initially stuck with that naming convention). But we’re inclined to believe that even Samsung employees might have been confused.

On this US registration page, the Galaxy S4 is written with as “S® 4” and as “S 4”; there’s also a link on the page going to the global Galaxy S4 website where, surprise, surprise, the smartphone is listed as S4, without any space or “registered” superscript.

So why did Samsung choose to name the S IV as the S 4 (or S4). We believe that it has everything to do with SEO.

As we noted last year about the S3, “A quick look at Google’s insights for search shows that the users are nearly 10 times more likely to look for the term – “Galaxy S3”, than for the “Galaxy S III”, or the “Galaxy SIII”. This has a very real and noticeable impact on search engine optimisation. Samsung doesn’t come first in search engine results for the term “Galaxy S3”. This means that had the manufacturer opted for that name, it is more than likely that it would have witnessed an increase in the number of visitors.

In the end, common sense prevailed. After all, the least Samsung would want is for its flagship smartphone to be called the Galaxy SeeeeeeV (as in sieve).

Check out our ongoing coverage of the Samsung Galaxy S4, from the very beginning until the launch (and beyond), including the rumours, the rehashed reports, the disappointments and the expectations. You can also read our hands-on of the Galaxy S4 here.