Ken Segall's Vision: Why Apple Should Drop the 'i' Prefix

It's time for changes and introducing innovations in the naming of new Apple devices. Soon we could say goodbye to the most popular phone name iPhone

by Sededin Dedovic
Ken Segall's Vision: Why Apple Should Drop the 'i' Prefix
© UnboxingBird / YOutube channel

Most of the names of Apple products start with the prefix "i", such as iPhone, iPad, iMac and other devices. However, Ken Segall, the former creative director of marketing who 26 years ago contributed to the naming of the first Apple product with the prefix "i" - the iMac.

Thus began the story of one of the most popular brands in the history of IT. This marketing genius has openly stated that the time has finally come for Apple to stop naming its products and using the "i" prefix. Ken Segall worked with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs for 12 years, creating many of Apple's iconic advertising campaigns.

At the time, he convinced Jobs to adopt "iMac" as the name for a new Apple device, which was revolutionary in many ways. This decision laid the foundation for Apple's future branding and product naming methodology, which later became known and copied around the world.

The practice of using the prefix "i" in product names continues to this day. Recently, Ken Segall accepted an exclusive interview with "Wired" and openly stated that tags that use "i" in their name should now definitely be abandoned because it no longer makes sense to continue using it.

Furthermore, he stated that Steve Jobs made the name Apple famous through "i" products, which have always been recognizable and inseparable from the Apple brand, but everything comes to an end, and in the end, it is just a sub-brand of a much more famous brand.

Now, Apple needs a new name to represent its technological progress and lay the foundation for the popularity and recognition of its future products. Ken Segall admitted that some marketers may not believe in this idea, but for a long time, "i" has been "appropriated" and, in a way, openly abused by too many companies to name their own Internet products, while on the other hand, Apple could not legally protect its "i" brand.

This is a significant problem for Apple, which emphasizes innovation in its products.

Evolution of iPhone© TheAgusCTS / Youtube channel

Is the end of the iPhone?

In fact, Apple seems to understand the problem it faces.

Therefore, since 2007, many products have gradually dropped the prefix "i" from their names. For example, Apple TV and Apple Watch did not use the usual naming convention of iTV or iWatch, as required by the previous rule for naming Apple products.

Lately, we've been seeing more and more new Apple devices using more direct names like Apple Vision Pro, which clearly indicates that it's an Apple product, gradually replacing the familiar "i" with Apple. What does this ultimately mean for perhaps the most popular mobile phone brand ever? Has the inevitable moment that Apple has been delaying for so long finally arrived? The moment when the iPhone brand will disappear and be replaced by something else.

Drop iPhone as a name? Apple could name its phone practically anything, and we would still buy it," claim world-renowned branding marketing experts. "If Apple says there will be no more iPhones and offers an Apple Phone - we'll start calling it the Apple Phone.

Apple has such massive distribution, brand awareness and product recognition that dropping the 'i' from the iPhone's name won't hurt its popularity and sales in the slightest. Other experts also share the opinion that Apple would not jeopardize sales by dropping the familiar "i" from the iPhone's name, but predict that Apple will not easily give up its prefix until a future version of its "hero" device undergoes a significant restyling.

"The iPhone is so famous and well-known that there is currently no reason to change the name until Apple introduces a phone with a radically different design than the existing ones," said Anton Perreau, who heads the New York-based US/UK agency Battenhall, which has worked for Google, Amazon and Netflix.

. It is evident that Apple's brand strategy has evolved over time. In the beginning, the prefix "i" symbolized the Internet, individuality and innovation. It was a sign of distinction, a sign of belonging to the digital age. However, as technology has advanced and become more ubiquitous, the importance of the "and" has diminished.

Today, it is no longer necessary for Apple to rely on this prefix to convey its message of innovation and technological prowess. Instead, the focus has shifted towards more direct and descriptive product names that emphasize functionality and purpose.

By moving away from the "i" prefix, Apple has the opportunity to rebrand and redefine its identity in a constantly changing technology environment, but it is a double-edged sword because this name already has maximum marketing potential and popularity throughout the world.

The name iPhone itself has become synonymous with success all over the world, so we will see how the eventual name change will affect the popularity of the phone.