Say what? Apple nearly called the iPhone the ‘TelePod’, ‘Mobi’, ‘TriPod’ and even ‘iPad’

apple iphone 5The iPhone almost never was. Or at least, the iPhone name almost never was. The world’s most famous smartphone was nearly called the Telepod. Or the Mobi. Tripod was also considered. iPad even got a look in.

Ken Segall, a former ad agency creative director who once worked closely with Apple, revealed the behind-the-scenes details at an event on Monday held by the University of Arizona’s Department of Marketing.

According to 9to5Mac, Apple almost went with TelePod because it had a futuristic feel to it, combining with ‘tele’ of telephone with ‘pod’ – a nod to its line of media players which, as the iPhone was being developed, was already hugely popular around the world.

Mobi, an obvious play on the word mobile, was also considered – but eventually rejected. Segall reportedly said that “the shortened version of ‘mobile’ seems to be a creative name with a personality.”

TriPod, arguably the worst name of the bunch, and one which would’ve likely caused endless confusion among professional photographers and their assistants, apparently made a big impact among Apple executives when it was first suggested. The name came from the idea that the smartphone is a combination of phone, iPod and Internet communications device, Segall said.

And then we come to the iPad. It makes sense, with both devices offering similar functionality, but then what would they have called the iPad?

In the event, the iPhone name won out, a decision that was to cause Apple some trouble in the early days, as networking giant Cisco at the time owned the rights to the iPhone trademark. The Cupertino company ended up paying Cisco an undisclosed sum for the right to use the name.

Apple is facing another battle in Brazil where the country’s Institute of Industrial Property recently ruled that a local company owned the iPhone trademark in the Latin American country.

The company, IGB Electronica (formerly Gradiente Electronica), registered the name in 2000, and recently launched an Android-powered iphone handset. You never know, it might end up selling the rights to the iPhone name to Apple and rename its product the TriPod.


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