Former Apple Ad Man Says Apple Considered Calling the iPhone the 'TriPod', 'TelePod', 'Mobi', or 'iPad'

originaliphoneFormer Apple advertising lead Ken Segall was at an event for the University of Arizona's Department of Marketing tonight and in giving the latest version of his "Insanely Simple" talk revealed some of the names Apple considered for its smartphone before settling on "iPhone", reports 9to5Mac.

The proposed names included "TelePod," "Mobi," "TriPod" and "iPad." Segall also presented the name "MicroMac" to his audience, but insisted that it was not under consideration and that he wanted to gauge their thoughts on the name. In past versions of the talk, Segall has presented "PocketMac" as the outlier option that was not actually considered.

Segall went on to explain the thought process of the names:

- TelePod: Segall said Apple considered this name because it sounded like a "futuristic twist" on the word "telephone." The "Pod" part obviously came about from the success of the iPod.

- Mobi: This name was in consideration not only because it was a creative take on the word "mobile," but that it also had personality, Segall said.

- TriPod: When Steve Jobs revealed the iPhone, he famously referred to it as three devices in one: an iPod, an Internet device and a phone. This name likely had an impact on that presentation and represents the three "legs" that the iPhone was built on.

- iPad: This eventually became the name of Apple's tablet line, but Segall said it was under consideration for the company's smartphone product as well. Steve Jobs did confirm that Apple had been working on a tablet before it started working on a phone, and that the tablet had internally been codenamed "Safari Pad."

Of course, Apple eventually settled on the name "iPhone". At the time, Cisco actually held the U.S. trademark for iPhone for a line of VoIP handsets, but the two companies eventually reached a trademark agreement over the name.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

Posted: 21 months ago

iMac = internet Macintosh so the iPhone = internet Phone was a logical step to make for the phone's name.

Yes the i stands for internet.


It's not just internet. From Steve Jobs:
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago
Hindsight...

Had it been called the "iBzlourged(tm)", that would be what everybody would want and know. That said, iPhone is still the best name out of that list. :)
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago
I couldn't imagine any other way; not without that instantly recognizable, iconic name. :)

Someone made the right call. The iPad name just wouldn't have been the same. Not only because iPhone was just right, but because it would have stolen the name from the yet-to-come tablet. What would it have been if it weren't iPad?

Always interesting hearing these backstories. Thanks MacRumors!
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago

Actually iPhone was the only good name.

iMac = internet Macintosh so the iPhone = internet Phone was a logical step to make for the phone's name.

Yes the i stands for internet.


I love how companies put "i" in front of stuff for their products and they have nothing to do with the internet.

iMattress... really??
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago
I think we are all moving towards the "Tri-corder".

Beam me up Scotty!
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago
Kirk to Scotty......Kirk to Scotty...Come in Scotty.....Where are you Scotty.....

Oh yeah, the iPhone works. The S-T communicators seldom did.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago

Actually iPhone was the only good name.

iMac = internet Macintosh so the iPhone = internet Phone was a logical step to make for the phone's name.

Yes the i stands for internet.


What about the Original iPods? Before the Touch and iphone and what not?
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago

This shows how damn important it is to name your product right. iPhone just makes complete sense, and everything you need to know is in the name: it's made by Apple and it's a phone.

vs. something meaningless like "Galaxy S III", which might as well be the name for a space telescope.


We only associate the iSomething branding due to Apple's marketing. Otherwise "i" would have just as much innate meaning as "Galaxy", which is to say, none.

I'll grant the word "phone" was sensible.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago

yea but the only ipod that goes on the internet is the ipod touch


True, but at least the iPod can get music from the internet and it has to do with computers.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago
This shows how damn important it is to name your product right. iPhone just makes complete sense, and everything you need to know is in the name: it's made by Apple and it's a phone.

vs. something meaningless like "Galaxy S III", which might as well be the name for a space telescope.
Rating: 1 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]