Branded product names are like gold to a gadget maker. People trust brands they know and love and give little consideration to competitors’ products with lesser brand power. Apple works the brands as well as any tech company.
Yet, here we are in the 21st century and Apple’s branding has grown stale and tired– recognizable, yet, but fraught with confusion and a legacy trail to the past. It’s time for Apple to come up with new brand names.
Apple’s branding woes started with the iMac. The internet Mac. iEverything quickly followed. iTunes. iPod. iLife with iMovie, iPhoto, iWeb, iCal, iPad, and so on. The iDevice branding is so pervasive that people buy an iWatch, watch movies and TV shows on iTV, and listen to music on an iTouch.
Yes, Apple recognizes the naming scheme problem of being the iEverything gadget maker and has taken steps to move away from iDevices to a more simple, elegant branding and naming convention.
iPhotos is gone and replace by Photos. Most Macs sold these days are MacBook and MacBook Pro models, not iMacs (more on the Mac naming issue in a moment). Mac Pro is self evident. Even paying homage to the past with iMac Pro makes a clear delineation between the past and the present and professionals.
iCal is Calendar. But iMovie isn’t Movie. iTunes might be the worst offender of all for the brand conscious because it has less to do with tunes and more to do with sales and rentals as the world’s largest online media mall. These days we have Apple TV, Apple Pay, Apple Music– monickers which are self explanatory, elegant and obvious.
What about iPhone? This may be an area where Apple cannot change. Look at the product line. The iPhone SE is the low end, entry-level brand. Apple still sells iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. But also has iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus. And, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Each has a variety of colors and storage configurations. How many models is that? Add iPhone X to the mix and that’s eight different iModels. Do we get an iPhone 11 next year? The numbering scheme is messy. What comes in 2018? iPhone 8s and iPhone 8s Plus? And iPhone 11? Or, iPhone X (ten) and iPhone X Plus?
Good grief. Is it any wonder we’ve reached peak iPhone?
The Mac isn’t much better. Apple still sells the Mac mini with chips that are four generations old. The MacBook Air still sells as the entry-level notebook, but the also entry-level MacBook is priced the same as the entry-level MacBook Pro which seems to be less professionally oriented than any Mac notebook ever.
Hey, Apple. How about a MacBook Air with an Apple-designed ARM chip inside as the entry-level model, then a MacBook, and a truly powerful MacBook Pro. You know. For pros. Like the iPhone name I don’t have a problem with the iMac name. It says desktop. iMac Pro says power. MacBook Pro does not say power, and if it does not, then what does plain vanilla MacBook say?
Even the iPad line has issues. iPad, iPad mini, iPad Pro seems straightforward enough and a strong brand relative to competitors, but why has the mini not been upgraded in years? I’m OK with Apple Pay, Apple Music, and Apple TV, but what about Apple Beats? Are AirPods part of Beats or not? No. So, why not? The Mac App Store is obvious and descriptive but what do we call the App Store for iPhone and iPad? As it is on macOS itself– App Store– on the iPhone and iPad it’s just called App Store. iOS App Store? macOS App Store? App Store? I’m struggling to find consistency here, Apple.
I’m glad the era of iCal, iWeb, iBook, et al is behind us, but iEverything era of iTunes, iMovie, iPhotos, et al has also wrought iWatch, iTouch, iPay, because customers can’t get iDevice out of their iHeads.
iCustomers have grown tired of all the iDevices, Apple.