Would an iPhone by any other name have been so successful?
Apple’s former head of advertising, Ken Segall, recently spoke at an event at the University of Arizona’s Department of Marketing. During his talk, Segall revealed several of the names Apple considered calling the iPhone, before ultimately settling on the name we all know so well. Some of them are pretty damn weird.
“Telepod” was one such name. Segall said that Apple came up with this name as a bit of a “futuristic twist” on the word “telephone.” Apple’s iPod was the tech giants’s most successful product at the time, so Steve Jobs and company wanted to bring part of that name over to its new flagship product — that’s where the “pod” part of “telepod” comes in.
“Tripod” also garnered some consideration, despite the fact that a tripod is already a unique — and wholly unrelated — tech product. This name stems from Steve Jobs’ famous 2007 keynote, in which he introduced the original iPhone. He emphasized that it was three devices in one — a phone, an Internet communicator and an iPod. If you haven’t seen the keynote, it’s definitely worth a watch — Jobs at his absolute best.
Apple also considered the name “Mobi.” The only rationale Segall gave for this potential moniker was that it’s a play on the word “mobile.” It’s probably for the best that Apple didn’t go in this direction.
Finally, Apple apparently contemplated using the name “iPad.” As many know, the iPad was actually in development at Apple before the iPhone. Why the company decided to hold off on the product — and the name — is a matter for debate. Clearly, things worked out pretty well.
Segall also mentioned the name “MicroMac” in his talk, but he stated that it was never really in the running. The origins of that name should be pretty obvious to anyone who’s followed Apple over the years.
Below, you’ll see some mock-ups that we did for what iPhone ads may have looked like if Apple chose one of the other names.