At a recent event at the University of Arizona's Department of Marketing Ken Segall, Apple's former chief of advertising, shared the other names that the company had been originally considering for its iPhone, 9To5Mac reported. The names that Apple considered included “Telepod,” “Tripod,” Mobi” and “iPad.”
Segall reportedly told his audience that “Telepod” was one of the options because it sounded like a more futuristic version of the word “telephone.” In addition, at the time the iPhone emerged, Apple's iPod line of mp3 players was incredibly popular, which would explain the use of “pod.” In a similar option, “Mobi” was seen as a creative name that had a good deal of personality as a shortened version of the word “mobile.” “Tripod” stemmed from the idea to market the smart device as a combination of a phone, iPod and internet communication device.
“While the iPad ended up being the name for Apple's tablet computer, that name was also under consideration for the smartphone,” 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman wrote. “As the iPhone has much of the same functionality as the iPad that we know today, that name may have been sensible. This name also makes sense in terms of Apple's iOS device development process: Steve Jobs previously revealed that Apple worked on the tablet before the phone, but ended up prioritizing the iPhone in its long-term product roadmap.”
Gurman also explained that when the iPhone was originally launched, Apple ran into problems as Cisco currently owned the “IPHONE” trademark for its IP-based phone system. Cisco and Apple ultimately decided to partner on certain projects in a deal that allowed them to both use the name. This Apple news inspired Chicago Tribune's Rob Manker to note other scenarios when a something or someone else was nearly called something different. One example Manker gave was with Walt Disney's famous Mickey Mouse, who was almost named Mortimer before Disney's wife stepped in.
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