What’s in a name… and does it really matter?

“In order to really create a new category of devices, those devices are going to have to be far better at doing some key tasks. We think we’ve got the goods. We think we’ve done it.” –Steve Jobs, Jan. 27, 2010

Thanks BusinessWeekOn Wednesday, Jan. 27, Apple unveiled to the world its long awaited tablet, calling it the iPad.  The device has a nearly ten inch touch screen, is a half-inch thick, weighs 1.5 pounds and comes with 16, 32 or 64 gigabytes of flash memory storage.  It comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity built in. The battery will last 10 hours and can sit for a month on standby without needing a charge (..and my head just exploded).

Since the announcement, the reaction has been all over the map as to the product itself AND the name.  Some are panning the name, while others done mind it.  The day of the announcement, I was on Twitter and getting a sample of people’s thoughts.  I saw that my buddy @mikinzie said this: 

“Better names for the iPad? iNote, iDoc, iTab, iBook….but the iPad? C’mon Stevie. You should know branding by now..”

I replied to her, saying it didn’t really matter what is was called, she would buy it.  Her reply:

“Heck yes, I’d buy it if I didn’t need to go rob a bank first!”

Regardless of what Apple has named its tablet, it is going to sell a TON of units.  When first released in 2001, Apple sold 125,000 iPods.  During the period from January 2004 to January 2005, the high rate of sales caused its U.S. market share to increase from 31% to 65%.  People scratched their heads a bit when the iPod first came out, but now it seems like everyone has one.   In my opinion, Apple could have named the iPad the iScreen and it would be a hit.   I didn’t seem the same furor over Amazon’s “Kindle.” 

So, does it really matter what Apple named the iPad? And if it does, will sales be affected? Chime in!


About JasMollica

"It's never too late to have a life and it's never too late to change one." That's something I tell students, friends, and family all the time. After living and working in New York City, I took my own advice in 2004, switched my career from the television/radio industry and got into public relations. Now, I spend my days as a PR/social media marketing consultant and get inspired daily. It's been a good ride, so far. But the car has plenty of gas left. I hope you'll join along in this guy's journey!

Posted on January 30, 2010, in Hot Topic, Public Relations, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Remember all the “Wii” jokes when Nintendo announced the name of it’s latest console? Same thing here. It’ll be funny and get the lulz for a while but eventually if the product is worthwhile people won’t care.

  2. Kevin,

    I do remember the jokes about the Wii. I am always intrigued about the criticism of a product, like the iPad. Apple has had a pretty good track record at this type of stuff. I’m apt to give them the benefit of the doubt that they know what they are doing.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


  3. Great post! I’ve been racking my brain about this all week. I wasn’t bothered by the name at all at first. Then I heard the criticisms and while I could recognize the humor, I still don’t think the transition from ipod to ipad is really all that bad. I do like inote and itab (like Mikinzie suggested), but I completely understand what Apple was trying to accomplish. I think the itampon jokes are a little harsh and that Apple really won’t see a huge loss in sales despite this controversy. I mean, everyone’s talking about it, so Apple is still getting tons of attention!

  4. I think it’d be more damaging if there were an actual feature or design that was being ridiculed this much rather than just the name.

    An example that comes to mind was Nokia’s N-Gage QD gaming cell phone that required you to hold the side of the phone to your ear to talk. The shape of the unit made it look like you were holding a taco up to your head and the end result was so ridiculous that it spawned an entire Internet meme known as “taco talkin” or “sidetalkin” where people took pictures of themselves with various things up to the side of their heads and posted them online. Here’s some of the photos, which are still online today – five years later.

    (somewhere in there is a photo of my dog with a DVD player to the side of his head, btw.)

    The QD died a quick death and Nokia and the N-Gage are nowhere to be found in the mobile gaming market today

    The iPad won’t have this issue. The thing is dead sexy, Apple has design down to a tee. They know what people want, what will look good in your hands and will function amazingly.

    That said, I’m not sure if I’ll jump on board for the first gen iPad. Between my iPhone, MacBook and Mac mini, this is much more of and “I want” device than “I need.” Someone is welcome to buy me one as a gift, however 🙂

  5. I’m glad you brought that up, Kevin. Once people gravitate negatively towards something, good luck getting anything positive. The N-Gage was a disaster and the fact the internet had something to do with its demise should not be too shocking.
    Apple knows what it is doing and that is part of my point. The name could have been something much more ridiculous and it still would be a big seller.

    Lauren, you make a WONDERFUL point. People are talking about it, so Apple is winning right there. People will be in line come spring.

    Thanks for dropping in to comment!

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