A few years ago Apple started off down the long and winding road to a new and simpler brand. The iMac debuted in 1998 and Apple became the iEverything company. iTunes. iPod. iLife and iWork. iPhotos. iMovie. iWeb. iPhone. iPad. iMessage. iWatch.
Wait. What? iWatch? Since when? Yesterday, and for at least a couple of times every month for the past year, I’ve had friends, family members, and co-workers ask me, “How do you like your iWatch?”
As regrettable as that inarticulate question is, it’s understandable. From iMac to iPod to iPhone to iPad, everything and anything was iSomething; Apple had become the iDevice company. Apple’s executives recognized that change is good (nothing improves without it), and set about to rebrand the company’s products.
One of the first to go was iPhotos, replaced by a simpler Photos app. iWeb disappeared entirely. So did iPod and iTouch.
Wait. What? Since when? Well, actually, on Apple’s website you need to do a search to find iPod and iPod touch (iTouch is what everyone called it anyway), as the iPod line is no longer sufficiently worthy to garner a spot on the top menu of Apple.com.
Apple TV never made it to iTV status. Watch started life as Watch, not iWatch, though that name remains in common use. Apple is all for keeping it simple and removing the iWhatever monicker wherever it can. Apple Watch, not iWatch. Apple TV, not iTV. Apple Pay, not iPay.
iTunes and iMovie remain, but the former could be in for a product facelift and name change that is long overdue. iMovie has a problem. Just using Movies would indicate an app that plays movies rather than edits movies.
Likewise, Apple could be considered to have a similar problem with iPhone, iPad, and the product that started the iName crisis, iMac. This may be where Apple draws the line and continues to dance with the one that brought ’em to fame and glory and riches. Mac mini, Mac Pro, and even MacBook or MacBook Pro make proper sense in Apple’s 21st century branding scheme, but does Apple have the courage to move to Apple Phone, Apple Pad, and plain old Mac to replace the aforementioned iDevices?
We see a similar move to simple product names with watchOS, tvOS, macOS (Sierra, to differentiate by year), but iOS remains, well, iOS, seemingly forever attached to iPhone and iPad.
Apple Veep Phil Schiller talked about the courage Apple needed to remove the headphone jack from iPhone 7 and there was far more uproar among tech critics and wannabes than among customers, so courage pays off.
Does Apple have the courage to rebrand iPhone, iPad, and iMac?