While the iPhone moniker may seem rather intuitive – after all, it did follow in the footsteps of the iMac and the iPod – it seems that Apple did spend some time exploring other names for its revolutionary smartphone.
While speaking at the University of Arizona’s marketing department yesterday, Ken Segall – the former creative director of Apple’s marketing efforts – laid out a few other options Apple considered when it came to naming the iPhone.
Put simply, Apple chose wisely.
According to Segall, some of the names Apple was considering included Mobi, TriPod, TelePod, and believe it or not, iPad.
Interestingly, Segall delved into each name and explained why it was up for consideration.
Let’s start with the Telepod. Segall said that Apple was toying with this name because it provided a futuristic twist on the word ‘telephone’ while the ‘pod’ suffix was obviously meant to capitalize on the incredible success and familiarity of the iPod.
What about Mobi? My first association was with the singer Moby, but alas, the Mobi on Apple’s radar was a play on the word “mobile”. It’s decent, but Mobi sounds like a cheap knockoff smartphone, or better yet, something Apple might have alternatively called Siri.
And then we have Tripod.
While this name did not win out, it did make a big impact on Apple’s original presentation and marketing for the iPhone. “Tripod” stems from the iPhone being a combination phone + iPod + internet communications device. Indeed, Apple heavily marketed the original iPhone as such.
And if you look back at Steve Jobs’ iPhone unveiling at Macworld 2007, you’ll note that the root of his masterful delivery was to announce that Apple had three new products to introduce before wowing the audience by revealing that all 3 products were actually just one device.
And finally we have the iPad moniker. Of course the iPad would subsequently go on to become the name for Apple’s tablet, but recall that Apple’s iPhone project initially started out as a tablet initiative.
All in all, I think Apple chose wisely with the iPhone. It’s Apple. It’s simple. And with millions upon millions of iPhones sold each and every year, you have to agree that it just works.