Apple for years, has known for its brand quality and innovative features that it had proffered to the tech-world, which amounts as a big reason for its trillion-dollar business. In addition to that, the unique prefix that apple had dubbed for its products had become one of the most notable marketing element in history. Everyone now knows what’s the brand name of a product if it has a prefix ‘i’ in it. But, have you ever thought why Apple products has an ‘i’ before it? And what’s the strategy behind it?…
If you had not known, here you will find out…
Every apple product that was launched before 2015 – iMac, iPhone, iPod, iPad will have an “i” before it and this naming pattern was initiated by the company’s founder Steve Jobs in 1998, when Steve launched the first-ever ‘iMac’.
This is why Apple Products has an “i” before it
The late 1990s were the time when internet started to explode in popularity and usage around the globe, wherein number of software companies adhered the internet usage, knowing this could be the future.
When Apple launched its first-ever computer – iMac, Steve jobs perceived this growth-phase of internet and wanted to publicize iMac as the product that connects to internet quickly and easily than the rest of the computers. So, it was not just a computer, but a computer with ‘excitement of the internet’ and that’s where iMac got its prefix “i” from.
Yeah, the “i” stood for internet in iMac & Mac stood for macintosh. Later on, the brand got that included for each of its product, as iPhone, iPad and iPod all came with an internet connectivity.
The “i” has more meaning
While presenting the very first iMac to viewers, Steve Jobs’ slide did depict that ‘i’ of apple products mean a little extra from internet to refer – individual, instruct, inform and inspire.
Individual: Here with iMac, Apple wants to show its individuality and unique capabilities.
Instruct: As the earlier iMacs was targeted to learning institutions, like universities and colleges, the ‘i’ meant to emphasize the instruction of learning.
Inform: iMac was also there to inform people that its internet possibilities could be leveraged a lot for gathering information and knowledge.
Inspire: iMac was aimed to inspire others to create amazing products.
Why did Apple stop using the letter “i”?
You might have noticed that the recently launched Apple products like Apple Watch, AirPods, AirTags have no letter ‘i’ included as a prefix. The foremost reason behind this is the company’s avoidance to have legal lawsuits registered against them.
It all started back in 2007, when iPhone was yet to launch. Apple iPhone reveal in 2007 impelled the company to deal a legal dispute with Cisco, who had named ‘iPhone’ for their phone. This legal trademark issue pushed Apple to settle 50 million dollars to Cisco. Also, at time when Apple was all set to launch Apple Watch, the name ‘iWatch’ was already taken by three other companies in United States, Europe and China and Apple left with no other choice to drop this letter-i from its watch.
Apple in sort of neglecting these issues, chose to withdraw the letter ‘i’ from its products. Later, Apple started including its brand name itself to few products – Apple Watch, Apple Glass, Apple Car and few other products got a prefix ‘Air’ referring that the products connect wirelessly – AirTags, AirPods, and AirPlay.
(For more such interesting technology and innovative detailing, keep reading The Inner Detail).