Is it time for Apple to stop developing the iPhone?

This does not mean that Apple will stop producing iPhones, but instead the company will simply change the name of the product.

If talking about Ken Segall, many people don't know who he is, but if talking about iMac, iPod, iPhone or iPad, almost everyone knows. Perhaps no one knows that Ken Segall and all of the above products have many things in common, in which Segall is the person behind the letter "i" in Apple products.

iPhone has been a very successful product since its launch.

iPhone has been a very successful product since its launch.

He's an advertising creator who's still working and recently sat down with Wired to talk about his technology. Among the statements, the most notable is that Segall believes it's time for Apple to get rid of those product names, something Tim Cook's Apple is actually aiming for.

The iPhone icon has become outdated

A brand can bring its own meaning, and that is exactly what its name's creator intended. To know the origin of the meaning of Apple products with the letter "i", let's go back nearly 30 years ago.

In 1998, Ken Segall was hired by Apple along with its marketing agency to find a differentiating factor for a brand like Apple that did not have the reputation it has today. It is true that Apple is known, but not so much on a global level because their products are still in a narrow position and difficult to remember the names.

That year the first iMac in history was launched. The concept of “Mac” is not new at all, but that vowel “i” appearing in front of it is very strange.

Apple Watch is still successful without the "i" prefix.

The Apple Watch is still successful without the "i" prefix.

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The meaning of the letter “i” was then explained by Steve Jobs himself: Internet (because it is a connected device); instruct (because it's perfect for the education sector); individual (because it is a personal computer); inform (because it's great at finding information) and inspire (because like all Apple products it's always about finding creativity).

Obviously these concepts make a lot of sense, even for the iPhone. After all, carrying the Internet in your pocket was still a novelty in 2007 when Apple's first smartphone was introduced. But today, the “i” refers to outdated concepts, and that's something Segall himself recognizes.

More importantly, stopping the use of the “i” will not mean lower sales. Forge Design's Ashwin Krishnaswamy and Battenhall's Anton Perreau agree that Apple won't suffer a sales hit if it stops using "i." This stems from the maturity and entity that Apple had on a global level, where they don't need those special elements in the naming.

Experts say they believe that Tim Cook will not hesitate to remove this prefix, and in fact this has been shown with the company's latest products. Cook did not hesitate to remove the "i" but sales were still high thanks to its association with Apple.

Logically, many people continue to associate the “i” prefix with the Apple brand, but the truth is that we already have examples of successful products that stray far from that style. The best examples are the Apple Watch and AirPods, two devices launched in the past decade without the letter “i” in front. The Vision Pro, whose impact is still too early to measure, is another example of Apple abandoning ideas with an “i.”

Vision Pro is also a name that shows that Apple is gradually eliminating the "i" prefix in its products.

Vision Pro is also a name that shows that Apple is gradually eliminating the "i" prefix in its products.

Many experts agree, pointing to Vision Pro or other products that have yet to appear related to artificial intelligence (AI) that could replace the iPhone. But that doesn't mean the iPhone will disappear. Furthermore, in Apple's latest earnings report, the iPhone still accounted for 50% of the company's total income.

After all, experts believe that abandoning the "i" prefix would make sense for the iPhone as well. This is because on a commercial level, it is an outdated strategy and for the sake of the company's future campaigns, the “i” should not be saved for any more products. 

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