Why Did Apple Start Dropping the Prefix “i” from its Products?
Apple is a huge and iconic brand that is recognised all over the world. Do you also own an Apple device, such as an iPad, iMac or iPhone? You may have noticed how the small letter “i” has been associated with nearly all Apple products. Even the Apple ecosystem has been associated with the letter “i”, such as iTunes, iCloud or even the iOS operating system.
Have you wondered why this fixation with the letter “i”? You will be surprised to know that the first line of products introduced by Apple did not have the prefix “i”. In 1976, Apple introduced its first computer as Apple I and followed this with Apple II. The change came in 1998, when the iMac computer was introduced.
The company was struggling then and was facing bankruptcy. But iMac and the letter “i” changed its fortunes, starting the journey that made it the most valuable company in the world. Back then, the internet was the “next big thing” and everyone wanted to access it. Just as you pick up your iPhone to open an app or browse the web today, users at that time wanted a device that could connect them quickly and easily to the internet. This is what the iMac achieved and in the process changed the fortunes of the company.
The “i” in the iMac meant “internet” but Apple’s founder and CEO Steve Jobs shared in a later event that the “i” in Apple product meant the following too:
You may not be aware but the last product with the iconic “i” was introduced back in 2010. Since then, Apple has been slowly moving away from “i” and introducing new products without that prefix. The reason, as many experts and commentators have noted, has been a string of lawsuits on the propriety of the prefix.
Did you notice the change that was ushered in 2014 when Apple quietly dropped the letter “i” from its new products? That year, the Apple watch was introduced without the “i”. It was not an iwatch but an Apple watch. The change in nomenclature did not mean a drop in performance. Rather, the seamless connectivity of the Apple watch with the iPhones and the Apple ecosystem made it a hit with users.
You may have also bought the other Apple products that were introduced around this time without the prefix “i”. Some of these are AirPods and AirTags with newer models lined up. Like all users, you will also no doubt agree that Apple's line-up of gadgets remains strong as ever, with or without the prefix “i”.
For example, have you ever noticed or hesitated before connecting to Apple’s App store to download any app just because it does not have the prefix “i” attached to it? Simply put, Apple has become a recognised brand with or without the small letter attached before its products. You should not be surprised if Apple announces “AirPhone” instead of “iPhone” in the future. We are sure that if you are looking to buy a new Apple phone or a refurbished iPhone, you will not be affected by the lettering on the product.
Most users and Apple loyalists will agree that it is better for the company to focus on creating new products than entangling itself in endless litigation. More so when Apple has already lost more than one lawsuit regarding the small letter “i”. Given the choice, you will identify more with the logo of a semi-eaten Apple than a small case “i”. But beyond logos and lettering, it is the quality of products, ease of use and a great interface that makes a gadget a hit with the users. And Apple delivers in that aspect, every single time.
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