Former Apple ad man talks Mobi, Tripod, and other rejected names for what ultimately became the iPhone

iPhone had many possible names, says former Apple ad man

The iPhone could have gone by a number of other names, according to former Apple advertising lead Ken Segall. Segall, at an event at the University of Arizona, listed several alternative names for the iPhone that Apple was mulling around, and the reasoning behind each of them. Those names were “Mobi”, “Tripod”, “Telepod”, and “iPad”. Of these possible names, Segall revealed that “Tripod” was under serious consideration for a while. 9to5Mac reports:

While this name did not win out, it did make a big impact on Apple’s original presentation and marketing for the iPhone. “Tripod” stems from the iPhone being a combination phone + iPod + internet communications device. Indeed, Apple heavily marketed the original iPhone as such. As we know today, with the App Store and other new Apple apps, the iPhone platform is so much more than just a phone, internet communicator, and media player.

Interesting that Apple settled on “iPhone”, because Cisco already had that trademark. In fact, Cisco sued Apple over use of the name. The two companies eventually reached a settlement where they could both use the name. Of course, the name “iPad” was eventually used for Apple’s tablet. And while the iPhone’s name may seem simple and obvious now, what Segall’s talk showed is that “simple” and “obvious” do not always go hand in hand.

Do you think they picked the right name in iPhone, or do you secretly wish that your were carrying a “Tripod” in your pocket?

Source: 9to5Mac

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Joseph Keller

News Writer for Mobile Nations. Fascinated by the ways that technology connects us.

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Reader comments

Former Apple ad man talks Mobi, Tripod, and other rejected names for what ultimately became the iPhone


I expected the "-pod" names - they we're going to bank on the iPod brand. I don't really get the "Mobi" name though... Joseph, did Segall give any details about it?

I know some people are annoyed with the "I" names but I've always liked them in their simplicity. iPhone was the obvious and perfect choice. While I would have stuck with the "I" name for The iPad, I still hate the name "pad". Islate, itab, or just about anything else would have been preferred IMO.