Naming the Apple Tablet

I have been trying to figure out what Apple will name their tablet computer, but most names just don’t work. It’s much easier to figure out what won’t work than what will… Let me explain:

1) Names containing Mac, like MacBook touch or MacBook Mini or whatever. The Tablet isn’t going to be a Mac. A 100% multi-touch computer just won’t work the same way a Mac does. It won’t have menu bars, a windowing system, etc. Ever used Microsoft Surface? You get my drift now. Calling it a Mac would be a mistake. The operating system will not be Snow Leopard on this thing, so Apple cannot confuse people by associating it with the Mac name. (See my other post here to read about what I think the Apple Tablet will really be like — if I’m wrong, then this article will miss the mark too because the name definitely would have “Mac” in it then)

2) Names with “iPod” in them, like “iPod tablet” or “iPod page”. Even if the tablet is really an overgrown, more powerful iPod touch, Apple can’t really risk messing with the iPod brand by using the name for this new class of iPod-derived devices. We think of iPods as pocket music devices, not tablets, and this will foster confusion in the marketplace.

3) “iPad” can’t be used because it is too close to “iPod” and would definitely create confusion in the marketplace.

4) “iPage” might work, I’m not sure, but “iSlate”, “iSlab” or “iTablet” are weak. I mean, they don’t really seem like they are “it” for a game-changing device like this. More weak names I thought up: “iTap”, “iSlice”, “iPoint”, “iReach”, “iPaw”, “iScreen”, “iSheet”, “iClear”, “iDact”, “iTact”, “iSurf”, “iScribble”, “iPaper”, “iBlock”, “iSwipe” but then if Apple chooses one of these then I might no longer think it’s weak… ok I might still think it’s weak. “iTab” is a bit better, but is it as durable as the name “Mac”, for an important device like this?

5) Names with “iPhone” in them. Since you won’t be bringing this device to your face to make calls, and for the same reasons as not using names with “iPod” in them, Apple can’t use this in the tablet’s name.

6) Names with the Apple logo in them like AppleTV (where Apple is replaced with the logo). That might be possible, but somehow it doesn’t seem to make as much sense as a name that starts with “i” because “i” is for Internet and the Apple Tablet definitely will behighly used for internet surfing.

7) “iTouch” might be too close to “iPod touch”, I mean some people already erroneously call the iPod touch the “iTouch”.

8) Names relating to Netbooks. Well, “iBook” was already used before. Can Apple reuse it? I don’t know. Why not, the name’s been forgotten already, it could be brought back to life. Except if the device doesn’t open up like a book of course. So much for that.

So what can it be called? In the pre-iPhone days, folks had already guessed the name, so could it really be the “iTablet”? But what if it does have 1 moving part, something that would allow the device to tilt at a better viewing angle? Well, iTablet still works… but somehoe I think this blog post missed the real name they’ll choose.

Much harder than I thought! Anyone care to contribute? Tweet to @kosmatos

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