six colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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‘Apple Phone’

Over at The Verge, Chris Ziegler muses on Apple changing the name of the iPhone to Apple Phone:

“i” is an endangered letter at Apple: the iBook died many years ago, and we now have Apple Watches on our wrists, not iWatches. iThings are passé.

I believe we’re ready for the Apple Phone. Not iPhone, not iPhone 6S, not iPhone 7… just Apple Phone.

It’s actually something Myke Hurley brought up on Upgrade this week, indirectly, when he suggested maybe that OS X and iOS were headed for a collision as Apple OS. (I prefer to advocate the idea that OS X will become Mac OS again.)

I don’t think Apple Phone is a terrible product name, but Apple has so much invested in the iPhone brand. It’s their most valuable product by a long shot. People know the iPhone. The advantage of applying the Apple brand to a new product is that Apple is the world’s strongest brand—why come up with a name for your watch when it can just be the Apple Watch?

But the iPhone already has a powerful, worldwide brand. It seems to me that rebranding it as Apple Phone would just slow its momentum. It would also require a renaming of the iPad, and you’d have to ask about the iMac at that point, too.

It’s not that Apple couldn’t remove that i from existence. And if Apple were launching the iPhone today, they would call it the Apple Phone. But iPhone (and iMac) are powerful product names on their own.

I think a bigger issue is the numbering scheme on the iPhone. Surely something’s got to give before Apple’s selling an iPhone 14, right?