Everyone I know has been asking my take on Apple’s name for their new device – the iPad. Frankly I think the naming choice is typical Apple M.O. — they pick the name they want and damn the torpedoes. It’s a take on the old riddle:
Q: Where does a 900 lb. Gorilla sleep?
A: Anywhere it wants.
What surprises me is that Apple didn’t lock up trademarks for lots of potential iP names when they realized the iPod would be such a success. But, as Brad Stone writes in the New York Times, Cisco already owned the name iPhone and Apple used it anyway.
As far as the name iPod sounding like iPad to folks in Ireland or Boston with a brouge, who cares? Apple products are sexy enough that people know what you’re talking about and you can’t think of every single possible eventuality when you’re naming a product anyway.
As for iPad sounding like MaxiPad — I don’t think that Kotex (or whomever) has any exclusive on the word pad. If the word had such a bad connotation to women, you boomers would have never scored when you asked a girl up to “your pad.” How’d that work out for you?
What I don’t like about the name is that it seems rather insignificant and lacks gravitas — iSlate, iCom, iBook, etc. — all seem more important to me. I know that Apple likes to have somewhat of a casual, friendly image (Mac, for example. Apple, too) but the whole thing seems rather trivial to me — a game playing device that I can watch movies and read newspapers on. Big deal. I know that it’s much more than that and will be a harbinger of tech things to come but I’m underwhelmed. And the name doesn’t help.
Bottom line, it’s the first new Apple announcement in a long time that I’m not lusting after. For me, that’s because it’s not really a device to create content — it’s a device to consume content. A VCR vs. a video camera, for example. That being said, I’m sure I’ll be jonesing for one just as soon as I see it in the flesh, regardless of what it’s called.