Apple’s product names are instantly recognizable. Any iDevice– with an ‘i’ in front of a descriptive name is attributed to Apple (whether deserved or not). As obvious and beneficial as Apple’s naming convention is, there’s also an inherent problem.
iOwn iEverything iApple
Yoni Heisler does a good job pointing out that some technology manufacturers have crazy names for their products.
The examples give are from Sony– HDR-CS430V camcorder, Acer– C710-2834 notebook, and HP’s 2000-2b19wm notebook.
Compare those names to Apple’s elegant MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, iMac and Mac Pro. Add to the list the instantly recognizable iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPhone brands.
While PC makers remain stuck in the 20th century, Apple’s smartphone competitors are more competitive, name wise.
Enter the Samsung Galaxy S5, arguably the iPhone’s number one competitor. Samsung recognized the value of a brand name and has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to compete with Apple’s name recognition.
Apple’s product names are simple, straightforward, recognizable and instantly descriptive. What’s not to like?
Therein Lies The iRub
The problem with Apple’s naming convention began with the iMac in 1998. If memory serves me correctly, ‘i’ stood for ‘internet enabled.’ Indeed, early iMac TV ads showed a child plugging an iMac in and connecting to the internet while an adult fumbled around on a typically complex PC.
Since then, Apple has added ‘i’ to almost iEverything. iTunes and iPod. iLife with iPhoto, iMovie, iWeb. Then iPhone, iOS, and iPad. At least the iWork suite had components with individual and descriptive names (Pages, Numbers, Keynote). I see that as a looming problem.
As to future products, technology pundits and Apple fans look forward to the company’s new iWatch and iGlasses technology, whether they exist or will ever see the light of day.
The iEverything and iDevice monickers have served Apple well through the years, and the entire iProduct line remains easily identifiable with every model. So, is Apple stuck with ‘i’ devices forever? Maybe not. After a decade or so of big cat names for OS X, Apple moved on to OS X Mavericks (and the start of a line of California locations), so what would keep Apple from introducing new products without a standard ‘i’ device name?
Few important apps or other products escaped the iEverything naming scheme (Mac mini, Mac Pro, Aperture, Logic Pro X, Final Cut Pro X come to mind), but there is precedent. If and when we see iWatch and iGlasses how long before we have accompanying iWear, iShirt, iShoes, or even an iCar?