Former Apple Ad Man Says Apple Considered Calling the iPhone the 'TriPod', 'TelePod', 'Mobi', or 'iPad'

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Former Apple advertising lead Ken Segall was at an event for the University of Arizona's Department of Marketing tonight and in giving the latest version of his "Insanely Simple" talk revealed some of the names Apple considered for its smartphone before settling on "iPhone", reports 9to5Mac.

    The proposed names included "TelePod," "Mobi," "TriPod" and "iPad." Segall also presented the name "MicroMac" to his audience, but insisted that it was not under consideration and that he wanted to gauge their thoughts on the name. In past versions of the talk, Segall has presented "PocketMac" as the outlier option that was not actually considered.

    Segall went on to explain the thought process of the names:

    - TelePod: Segall said Apple considered this name because it sounded like a "futuristic twist" on the word "telephone." The "Pod" part obviously came about from the success of the iPod.

    - Mobi: This name was in consideration not only because it was a creative take on the word "mobile," but that it also had personality, Segall said.

    - TriPod: When Steve Jobs revealed the iPhone, he famously referred to it as three devices in one: an iPod, an Internet device and a phone. This name likely had an impact on that presentation and represents the three "legs" that the iPhone was built on.

    - iPad: This eventually became the name of Apple's tablet line, but Segall said it was under consideration for the company's smartphone product as well. Steve Jobs did confirm that Apple had been working on a tablet before it started working on a phone, and that the tablet had internally been codenamed "Safari Pad."

    Of course, Apple eventually settled on the name "iPhone". At the time, Cisco actually held the U.S. trademark for iPhone for a line of VoIP handsets, but the two companies eventually reached a trademark agreement over the name.

    Article Link: Former Apple Ad Man Says Apple Considered Calling the iPhone the 'TriPod', 'TelePod', 'Mobi', or 'iPad'
  2. SkippyThorson macrumors 65816


    Jul 22, 2007
    Utica, NY
    I couldn't imagine any other way; not without that instantly recognizable, iconic name. :)

    Someone made the right call. The iPad name just wouldn't have been the same. Not only because iPhone was just right, but because it would have stolen the name from the yet-to-come tablet. What would it have been if it weren't iPad?

    Always interesting hearing these backstories. Thanks MacRumors!
  3. GenesisST macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2006
    Where I live

    Had it been called the "iBzlourged(tm)", that would be what everybody would want and know. That said, iPhone is still the best name out of that list. :)
  4. Blakjack macrumors 68000


    Jun 23, 2009
  5. jhead95 macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
  6. the8thark macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    Actually iPhone was the only good name.

    iMac = internet Macintosh so the iPhone = internet Phone was a logical step to make for the phone's name.

    Yes the i stands for internet.
  7. rei101 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2011
    But the screw it with something called "Mac Book Pro", what a complicated name, is like going off road on a jeep and trying to talk.

    iPhone was good.
  8. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

    Aug 10, 2008
    I love how companies put "i" in front of stuff for their products and they have nothing to do with the internet.

    iMattress... really??
  9. HarryKeogh macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2008

    If they called it the "Mobi" years ago and MacRumors put out a story stating that, at one point, Apple considered calling it the "iPhone" we'd be saying "thank goodness, they didn't pick that name!"
  10. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    I seem to recall a time everyone here hated the names iPod and iPad, but we've come to love those names, have we not?

    Although I think iPhone and iTV were names that always made sense and we always liked.

    AppleTV is still a bit of a mouth full... I don't think they refer to any other product they have as an "Apple" anything, do they?
  11. shurcooL macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2011
    Notice how the word "phone" sounds way cooler today than "telephone". I'm surely that's largely to us being used to the iPhone.

    Had it been named TelePod or something else, saying "phone" today might've sounded as lame as "telephone".
  12. johncrab macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2011
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Kirk to Scotty......Kirk to Scotty...Come in Scotty.....Where are you Scotty.....

    Oh yeah, the iPhone works. The S-T communicators seldom did.
  13. lucasfer899 macrumors 6502


    Sep 23, 2012
    Well, there was "Apple Cinema Display" but that product is kinda dead now.

    Actually, found this!
  14. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    What exactly does "Apple considered" mean? Names that were written down during a brainstorming session? And clearly all these are names that Apple considered not good enough.

    I don't think anyone hated them. There were quite a lot of people with a mental age of at most 10 who _loved_ the name iPad, just for the wrong reason :)
  15. Batavian macrumors 6502


    Mar 10, 2011
    I think we are all moving towards the "Tri-corder".

    Beam me up Scotty!
  16. 3282868 macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
    Could have sworn Jobs also suggested "Magic Phone", although that could very well have been a joke.

    I still liked "iMobile".
  17. verniesgarden macrumors 6502a


    May 29, 2007
    Portland, Or
    What's funny is that apple uses a very "news speak" naming convention for products, especially interesting due to the 1984 commercial.
  18. Adam Betts macrumors newbie

    Adam Betts

    Dec 8, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    It's not just internet. From Steve Jobs:

    Attached Files:

  19. dBeats macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2011
    I was going to post that I think they missed why they considered triPod. Steve Jobs once famously said, "Just give me Star Trek" and I'm pretty sure the triPod reference was to the tricorder, not that it was three in one device.
  20. Schmitty11 macrumors 6502

    May 21, 2011
    What about the Original iPods? Before the Touch and iphone and what not?
  21. BvizioN macrumors 68040


    Mar 16, 2012
    Manchester, UK
    True. Early iPods had no internet. Nor does the current iPod shuffle.
  22. baryon macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2009
    This shows how damn important it is to name your product right. iPhone just makes complete sense, and everything you need to know is in the name: it's made by Apple and it's a phone.

    vs. something meaningless like "Galaxy S III", which might as well be the name for a space telescope.
  23. Mike MA macrumors 65816

    Mike MA

    Sep 21, 2012
    Regarding the fact how product naming influences the design philosophy as explained by Sir Ive I don't really want to imagine how a Mobi would have looked like.
  24. sitsonthefence, Mar 5, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013

    sitsonthefence macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2012
    London, UK
    I'm sure I called the phone a phone long before the iPhone? Wasn't it just cooler to shorten everything?
  25. Solomani macrumors 68030


    Sep 25, 2012
    Alberto, Canado
    Doesn't everyone remember the first day the original iPad was officially announced, and the entire Apple-hating media pundits said that iPad was the worst possible name, and then all the Maxipad and tampon jokes started going viral?

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