iFact of the day

18 09 2006

As everyone knows, the letter ‘i’ has become integral to Apple’s brand image, and can be found positioned in front of almost all of their products.

What does it stand for though? Until very recently, I myself didn’t know, and had assumed that since it is mostly found in front of creativity applications, it was simply a synonym for ‘myself’ or ‘mine’ ie ‘my tunes’, ‘my photos’ and so on.

Original iMacIn actual fact, its origins stem from the release of the original iMac all the way back in 1998.

The iMac was designed to be an all-in-one, fully integrated computer, capable of connecting to the Internet right out of the box. The ‘i’ was added to the front of the ‘Mac’ brand name to signify this, so iMac is actually short for ‘Internet Mac’.

Now of course, the ‘i’ has evolved and is now used to represent high-tech consumer hardware or software and is also no longer used exclusively by Apple; several other companies have used the ‘i’ in their product names to reflect their purpose as a consumer oriented product. Another description which would fit an ‘i’ product would be ‘digital lifestyle product’.

Although Apple have now dropped the ‘i’ branding on the latest versions of their consumer notebooks, the iMac itself remains as their flagship consumer desktop computer, and probably will do for some time yet.

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3 responses

19 09 2006
Oliver

Of course there are situations where the “i” causes problems. Apple are planning to release a device similar to the Slingbox that lets you stream TV through a network. The codename at the moment is iTV…

Which for anyone outside the UK happens to be the name of a national TV station – the next most well known one after the BBC.

19 09 2006
RyanC

Ah yes, I never thought of that. Strangely enough, even when reading it above, I didn’t immediately think ITV as in Television, probably because I’m used to ‘i’ in context!

They won’t be allowed to keep that product name though will they, since the two are in the same industry – unlike Bounty the chocolate and Bounty the kitchen roll.

2 10 2006
RyanC

Update: having watched a Keynote recently from Steve Jobs, iTV is just an internal codename and the actual product name hasn’t been decided yet.

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