Ken Segall, Apple’s former advertising lead and the creator of the Think Different campaign, has shared some interesting tidbits about the early days of the iPhone’s development, while speaking at an event at The University of Arizona.
According to Segall, Apple had a lot of options in mind for the name of its then unnamed phone before arriving at the “iPhone” moniker. TelePod, Mobi, TriPod and iPad were all probable names for the iPhone.
He later went into detail to explain the reasoning behind each of those names. “TelePod” and “TriPod” he said would blend in well with the “iPod” line, and would have been likely names had Tony Fadell’s iPod-phone project emerged victorious. The “tele” was obviously a reference to telephones and the “tri” in the second name related to how the first-gen iPhone was marketed: a device that was an iPod, a phone and an internet communicator.
“Mobi” was just a modification of the word “mobile,” which, according to Segall, added a little personality to the device. Surprisingly, Apple even considered the name “iPad” for the iPhone, given that they share the same set of basic features. Although the iPad hadn’t launched back then, Steve Jobs had revealed that Apple in fact started working on the iPad first, stalled the project and moved to the iPhone.
The reason Apple was looking for alternative names in the first place was because Cisco owned the “IPHONE” trademark. In the end, of course, Apple chose to go with the name “iPhone” which, right now, seems much better than the other alternatives. Here’s a video of Segall describing the various probable names of the iPhone:
A few weeks ago, Apple design chief Jony Ive had shared how Apple approaches the naming of new product categories, and how they’d not consider referring to the product as anything that greatly narrows down the scope of thinking.
Do you think the iPhone was a better choice than TelePod, Mobi, TriPod or the iPad?