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Renaming the iPhone.

In a great piece he posted about how the iPhone and its wealth of apps are treading on the toes of many existing specialized devices, Kottke pondered the future of the iPhone name…

You’ve got to wonder when Apple is going to change the name of the iPhone. The phone part of the device increasingly seems like an afterthought, not the main attraction. The main benefit of the device is that it does everything. How do you choose a name for the device that has everything?

Over at DaringFireball, Gruber picked up on this

If this platform is here for the long run, the general purpose name that best works for a general purpose device is already here: iPod.

To which i say… yes! YES! YES!

When the iPod was first unveiled all those years ago I thought the name a little peculiar for a music player but it soon became apparent what an inspired choice of moniker it actually was. When Apple later added photo-viewing capabilities there was no need to rename it. Likewise, when they added video playback no name change was required. The generic “pod” meant as features were added the brand remained as strong as ever… so i was more than a little surprised when the oft rumoured “iPhone” (“Ha, what a stupid name!”) came to pass and was actually labelled “iPhone” rather than as the new flagship incarnation of the iPod.

Now, years later, the name iPhone doesn’t sound silly at all but, as Kottke says, that phone function is just one of a great many this portable device carries. Maybe one day soon it’ll be the iPod again1.

  1. Unless, of course, that particular brand will soon move over to a new, large-screen device…?