Apple considered four alternate names for the iPhone before launch

By on March 5, 2013, 12:00 PM

“iPhone” may seem like the most logical choice for Apple’s iconic handset in hindsight but there were reportedly multiple names up for consideration before Steve Jobs unveiled the smartphone in 2007. Former head of Apple advertising Ken Segall recently spilled the beans with regards to other names that Cupertino was considering during a presentation at the University of Arizona.

Segall said Apple considered going with “Telepod” as they believed it sounded like a futuristic twist on the word “telephone.” Furthermore, the “pod” part was a nod to Apple’s then-popular iPod music player – one of the three key features of the iPhone.

The company also thought about going with “Mobi” as a shortened version of the world “mobile.” The former executive said this name seemed to be a creative name with a personality.

Another name that likely led to many sleepless nights was “Tripod.” It may sound silly at first thought but given the heavy emphasis that Jobs placed on the iPhone’s three key capabilities during the unveiling at MacWorld- a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough Internet communicator – one can see how it seemed like a great idea at the time.

Finally, Apple even considered calling the iPhone the “iPad.” Considering Apple was actually working on a tablet before they ever came up with the idea to build a phone and the two devices share many of the same features, this actually makes a lot of sense.

User Comments: 6

Got something to say? Post a comment
Blkfx1 Blkfx1 said:

Lol, those names seem a little silly. I'm no fan of apple. However, I am glad they chose to name it the iphone.

1 person liked this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I think any of those names would have worked and become household names like the iPhone has. It's the innovative device that made it's way into society - the name would have followed no matter what it was.

misor misor said:

iPple? iCom? iTalk? iEwwww

I wonder how apple came up with the iconic "I" + product nomenclature.

Guest said:

The "I" stands for Internet. The first time used was for the iMac that came out with all the pretty colors and I believe a pony, but I may be wrong about the pony....

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

The "Telepod" name is so ridiculously bad I'm inclined to think it might have been a joke or something by some junior marketer in a board room. I mean it really is reminiscent of the 80's tech hysteria where everything from tech companies to tractor builders and fertilizers were naming products like "megatech industries", "megatron computing", "magnatech" etc. Too obvious to really be a serious consideration by Apple or their high flying ad agency.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

While the "I" in "iPhone", may have indeed at one time stood for "internet", they seem to have managed to finally settle on the name that pandered to the prospective owner's ego the most.

Perhaps "I-phone", would have simply been too damned obvious.

Who puts the big capital "I" in iPhone"? Why you do, of course.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.