This is what the ‘i’ in iPhone means
Apple has been naming its devices with a i prefix. We have the iMac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad all of which have the omnipresent “i” prefix since the release of the first iMac in 1998. Have you wondered what the “i” in all the prefixes means? Why Apple prefers naming its products starting with a “i”.
Well there have been many answers to this question. In fact last week, Internet has been abuzz with Apple fanboys remembering exactly what Apple’s “i” stands for. We briefly try to answer the question.
In 1998, at an Apple event in 1998, Steve Jobs introduced the iMac. Jobs explained the link between “i” and “Mac.”
“iMac comes from the marriage of the excitement of the Internet with the simplicity of Macintosh,” he said. “We are targeting this for the no. 1 use that consumers tell us they want a computer for, which is to get on the Internet simply and fast.”
In 1998, the “i” in iMac stood for Internet. Jobs followed these statements with a slide that expanded upon what else the “i” means to Apple:
Besides Internet, Apple’s prefix also stood for individual, instruct, inform and inspire. It should be noted that Apple didnt have Internet in mind when naming the iPod and Internet in the “i” came much later.
When the iPhone was announced in 2007, one of its three key ingredients was Internet communication, bringing the “i” back to its original intended meaning of Internet. (The other two fundamentals were music and phone calls.)
Since then, “i” for Internet has lost the meaning because all the Apple products now have some form of Internet connectivity built in. But as Apple grows, the “i” has emerged has some soft of brand niche for Apple. Though it abandoned the “i” while branding its smartwatch and TV boxes. Instead of iWatch and iTV, we have Apple Watch and Apple TV.
But sooner or later, Apple will return to its iconic “i” because it sells!