What Does The ‘I’ In iPod, iPhone And iPad Stand For? Apple Fans Are Only Just Finding Out


Apple has built a line of i-products that are unrivalled in terms of function and design,“ including the iPod, iPhone etc. Most of us have become so accustomed to these gadgets that customers haven’t taken the time to inquire, “What does the I mean?”

The answer, it turns out, is quite simple.

Of course, the iPhone isn’t the only product to use the company’s trademark ‘I’ branding; there’s also the iPod, iMac, and iPad. So, what precisely does Apple mean when it adds the letter I to the beginning of a word?

If we look back at interviews with the late CEO and great thinker Steve Jobs. Jobs once said at the iMac’s launch that the I in iMac stands for “internet, individual, instruct, inform, [and] inspire” – therefore, it had several meanings. Similarly, the ‘I’ was once assumed to signify “internet” – and nothing else – but the iMac approach also works for iPhone.

And since the iPhone does all of these things, it, like the iMac, is worthy of Apple’s renowned I-branding. The company’s iPod is the only real exception. It didn’t have an internet connection when it was first released; thus, it doesn’t precisely meet Jobs’ “internet, individual, instruct, inform, [and] inspire” concept. But four out of five isn’t too bad, we guess.

“In 2001, we introduced the first iPod, and it didn’t just change the way we listened to music. It changed the entire music industry. Well, today we’re introducing three revolutionary products of this class,” Steve said.

“The first one is a widescreen iPod with touch controls. The second is a revolutionary mobile phone. And the third is a breakthrough Internet communications device. So three things: a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough internet communications device,” he said

“An iPod, a phone and an Internet communicator. An iPod, a phone — are you getting it? These are not separate devices. This is one device. And we are calling it iPhone,” Steve added.

So, what’s the conclusion here?

The “I” in iPhone – and iMac, iPad, and iPod – does not stand for just one thing. Instead, it refers to a wide range of things. Specifically, emotions and uses that the technology is intended to inspire in its user.

Jobs felt that his inventions would instruct, inform, and inspire people. And he was aware that they, too, had the internet (at least, most of them) and that they were intended to empower individuals. Essentially, the letter I was a helpful literally device for Jobs to utilize in Apple’s product branding.

It was also really powerful. Can you imagine calling the iPhone something else? Definitely not.


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