What will Apple (or presumably Steve Jobs who decides) call the new tablet launching tomorrow? The iTablet seems like a good guess, but eager to hear. I’ve been pretty disappointed in Apple’s naming techniques for products lately, more specifically new models of existing products. The iPod seems like a pretty good name, although probably only in retrospect. Same goes for the iPhone although since the phone part of the iPhone is the most maligned part of it, maybe a new name is in order. The iPod Touch seems a bit odd too, it’s more like the “iPhone without the phone part” than an iPod with touch controls.
My biggest disappointment is in the models of the iPhone. It seems that there was no plan there. The first iPhone was, appropriately just the iPhone. Next up, the iPhone 3G was confusing to ordinary people who had no way of knowing that the 3G referred to the 3rd generation data network the phone was [supposedly] taking advantage of. Mostly though when numbers like that are used it’s to refer to the generation of the device, not the network?? So now people with the first phones were left wondering if their phone was a 1G or 2G or something else? Not to worry though, we all figured Apple would figure out a snazzy new name for the latest iPhone this past summer. Lo and behold it was called the 3GS. Huh? Did they just launch a plural of the 3G? Sure looks like it when you write about it. Oh, the S is for speed? That’s clever. Or confusing…. So now, you either have the 3rd generation iPhone or is it 4G? Nope, it’s the S. So people resort to things like, mine is the one with video….
Why would Apple not get this right? It seems like they worry about every other miniscule detail (other than the phone/network part). Blackberry nailed the naming for a while. Everyone knew what the bberry Pearl was and the Curve and even the Bold and the Storm. Once in a while they’d slip a random one in too though, like the World Edition on Verizon that only got a number 8850. They seem to generally get it though. At least Palm is trying with the Pre and the Pixi. Android phones are very confusing now. Since the Motorola Droid and the Droid Erris, everyone thinks all Android phones are “Droids”, understandably confused. Google tried with the Nexus One, but nobody seems to like that name very much. Nokia hasn’t really excelled here either – quick, name a Nokia model.
Back to Apple – they messed this up with their laptops too. Do you have a Macbook or Macbook Pro? Uh – I have the silver one, but it’s smaller, but it has the Intel chip? Or – I have the white one. Maybe Apple thinks not having clearly distinct names is simpler?
I would argue that having a clear and catchy product or model name helps in a big way with word of mouth. How can I recommend my phone if I can’t even tell you what it is in a way you’ll remember?
Anyway – will be interesting to see what the new tablet is called and what new versions of it get called also….. What do you guys think?