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How the iPhone got its name — it was almost called Telepod

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4 min read
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  • Ken Segall, former Apple advertising lead, recently shared insight on the naming process of the iconic iPhone at an event at the University of Arizona
  • Ken revealed that the company considered several other names before settling on iPhone, including “Telepod,” “Mobi,” “Tripod,” and “iPad.”
  • One of the potential names considered was “Telepod,” which Segall said was chosen because it sounded like a futuristic twist on the word “telephone.” The “pod” in the name also made sense in the context of Apple’s then-popular iPod line of music players.



Ken Segall, former Apple advertising lead, recently revealed some insight into the naming process of the iconic iPhone at an event at the University of Arizona’s Department of Marketing. According to Segall, the company considered several other names before settling on iPhone, including “Telepod,” “Mobi,” “Tripod,” and “iPad.”

One of the potential names considered was “Telepod,” which Segall said was chosen because it sounded like a futuristic twist on the word “telephone.” The “pod” in the name also made sense in the context of Apple’s then-popular iPod line of music players. Another potential name was “Mobi,” a play on the word “mobile,” which Segall believed was a creative and personal name. “Tripod” was also a name under consideration. The name comes from the idea that the iPhone is a combination of a phone, iPod, and internet communications device. Apple heavily marketed the original iPhone as such, but as we know now, the iPhone has evolved to be so much more than just those three things. Lastly, “iPad” was also considered as a name for the smartphone, as it has many of the same features as the tablet computer that we know today. This name also aligns with Apple’s iOS device development process, as Steve Jobs previously revealed that the company worked on the tablet before the phone, but ended up prioritizing the iPhone in its long-term product roadmap. It is worth noting that Segall also mentioned a name "MicroMac" in his presentation, but he clarified that it was never a name under consideration and he made it up specifically for this presentation to gauge the crowd's thoughts.





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