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Aug 10, 2011

What's the meaning of "i" in iPhone, iPad?

i Apple iPhone iPad iMac

Recently I've been thinking about the "I" meaning in all of Apple's products: iPod, iPad, iPhone… what's the "i" for? Internet? Nowadays it's not that cool any longer, isn't it? Internet is a given. Is it "i" like "me"?

I looked for an answer and found it in an interesting article that included the following:

"It was early 1997 and Steven P. Jobs had just recently returned to Apple as Interim Chief Executive Officer (At first he was just there to help and publicly stated that he did not want the full-time job at the time). Apple was about 6 months from full insolvency and company morale was at an all time low. There were warring factions and fiefdoms pitting any number of internal groups against each other, with each assigning blame for Apple’s slow demise.

Steve Jobs spent his first few months cutting irrelevant products. He felt that there were two very important products to focus on: The Mac Product Line and The PowerBook product line. Both products lost their way and suffered from a lack of focus in the market.

Steve selected a project that was an extension of the very first Macintosh. There was no name for this product and Steve felt that it would be extremely important to have a Mac name. At the time TBWA\Chiat\Day was creating the defining marketing campaign for Apple, “Think Different” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thi...). This was Steve’s way to set the stage for what the New Apple would represent to the world."

The story continues (you can read it all in here), and when trying to select the name, Steve Jobs actually wanted to call the product MacMan. (no, not Vince McMahon from the WWE!), the marketing guys wanted to call it iMac.

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Here comes the good part of the story:

"Steve Jobs and his team had incredible passion for this computer, and Steve had a very clear idea about what it should stand for. "It's a full-powered Mac, so it can do a lot of things. But first and foremost, it will get you onto the Internet in 10 minutes, even if you've never used a computer before."

For iMac, it was obviously all about the i. Most important, it stood for Internet. But it also stood for other valuable i things, like individual, imagination, i as in me, etc. It also did a pretty good job of laying a solid foundation for future product naming."

So that does it then. This was the first Apple product to carry a name that starts with an "i".

The rest is history, read it all in here:

How did Apple choose the "i" naming convention: iMac, iPod?

More historical stuff in here

The Evolution and History of the Apple Logo

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