Way back in the last century, back to the first year of Steve Jobs’ reign at Apple, the company launched a bet-the-farm product. The iMac. i in iMac was for internet, even then just a few years along in public life. The name was iPerfect because it stood out from competitor PCs and differentiation is a key component of marketing success.
What happened? Apple went iCrazy. iTunes, iLife, iPhotos, and on and on; somehow GarageBand escaped the iDisease, but it raged on for years. iPhone and iPad were Steve Jobs’ last two major products.
Apple executives said it took courage to rid the iPhone of the antique headphone jack connector, so what about a little iName courage?
It may just be that Apple is stuck with iPhone, iPad, and iMac forever, courage be damned. Half of Apple’s revenue and profits come from iPhone. Would it have killed the iPhone to change the name to the obvious?
We see Apple cleansing its way to the future with such obvious products as Apple Pay, Apple TV, Apple Music, but a similar issue has arisen with Apple News+, Apple TV+ and the new age of + this and + that.
Yes, there is now an AppleCare+ product.
Let’s give Apple some credit for going all Pro on iPhone and iPad. Pro is OK; even a tribute to Steve Jobs’ original quadrant of Pro and Consumer from back in the last century. Pro means more. I would like it to mean more storage, too, but Pro works much the same way on Apple’s notebook line. MacBook Pro has just a few differences between MacBook Air, but I’m OK with Pro even though true professionals want and deserve more RAM and more SSD storage.
Yes, it is time for iEverything to fade away in the sunset. I thought we were going that way with Apple Pay, Apple Music, Apple News, et al, but, well, maybe next year.
Apple has a good history of killing off the past; almost as if Steve Jobs enjoyed killing products. He killed Serial and Parallel and SCSI ports and embraced USB. He also brought us the hockey puck mouse with the iMac.
Names are about branding, and branding is about differentiation. Even Apple’s older iPhone names– 5 and 5s, 6 and 6s, et al– were obvious and identifiable among competitors. Even that died with iPhone 7. That left Apple with the alphanumeric craze of iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max. Those, too, have died.
Now we’re left with what works elsewhere at Apple; what differentiates iPad and Mac the best. Pro. iAlmost iPerfect. iPhone still uses a numeric system. iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, etc.
We’ll see if Tim Cook and his marketing honcho have real cajones when the next iPhone is just Apple Phone. I don’t think we will ever see the end of iApple. iMac, iPhone, and iPad are destined to live for iEver.