What’s in a Name? Why Name it the iPad and What That Says About Apple
What’s in a name? Lots.
This will be short. I haven’t had time to do the kind of research I might have liked, so basically this is word vomit. That disclaimer in mind here we go.
Yesterday the world waited with bated breath to see what Apple would unveil. Fantastical things were imagined, practical things were imagined, and skeptics foresaw a giant iPhone. For now it seems those skeptics were correct; however, after seeing the iPad’s features both those present and those seemingly omitted I would guess that the iPad is only the first page of Apple’s tablet story.
In this moment Apple made a business decision, a beautiful decision but one that is not entirely innovative. Rather they are capitalizing on their existing fan base to sell a product that is simply made to compete with the Kindle. They learned with the iPod how important being in the game early can be, so in order to grab a toehold in the emerging market they released the iPad.
Now to the name. Yesterday on Twitter iPad and iTampon jokes ran rampant. In fact at one point iTampon mentions mocking the iPad name actually overtook the mentions of iPad itself. Why does this matter? I mean matter more than the seemingly obvious “ick” association of the name? It matters because it tells you that this isn’t a great name indicating knowledge that it isn’t a great product either.
I heard many women ask wasn’t there a woman in the meeting where they named this thing? Then there’s the news coverage of Apple’s missing iPad copyright and domain ownership. What do all these things say to me? They say that this isn’t it. There will be a future with an Apple Tablet, and perhaps Apple is reserving the power names like iSlate for their true competitor to tablet PCs.
I have no doubt that Apple probably has a secret lab in a secret country somewhere that’s developing a tablet just as fantastical as those that people imagined the iPad might be, and I’m sure that’s why the stepping stone piece of technology the iPad got stuck with the feminine hygiene product version of the iPod’s name. Apple’s simply saving the great names for great products.