Former Apple consultant says Apple's naming plan is weak

Former Apple consultant says Apple's naming plan is weak
Former Apple consultant Ken Segall helped Steve Jobs name Apple products. Segall earlier last week said that Apple's system for naming brands is confusing and doesn't make sense. Segall points out the confusing way that the Apple iPad is numbered: Apple iPad, Apple iPad 2, third generation of the Apple iPad. Segall says that there was no good reason for the absence of Apple iPad 3.

The consultant also says that the branding of Apple's iconic smartphone is just as confusing. He says that Apple should have named the Apple iPhone 4S the iPhone 5 especially since it said that the model was the result of "completely rethinking the phone." Apple now has painted itself into a branding corner with the Apple iPhone where consumers expect that every other year there is an incremental update with an "S" attached. Doing this sends a "weak message," says Segall who is the author of a book "Insanely Simple," about why Apple has become so successful.

Between the strange naming of the Apple iPad and the "S" marking the incremental upgrade branding of the Apple iPhone, Segall says that overall, Apples' naming system doesn't make sense..

source: BusinessInsider



1. g2a5b0e unregistered

Can't argue with his logic. It doesn't make any sense that the sixth iteration of the iPhone is called the iPhone 5.

22. JeffdaBeat unregistered

Sorry, can't really agree with this one. Before the iPhone, most smartphones manufacturers didn't have a habit of giving their phones a sequel. Pre-iPhone, most just gave the phones completely different names or simply went by model numbers. For example HTC Apache was followed by the HTC Mogul. Same line of phone, but by no means was it the HTC Apache II. Apple's naming isn't confusing simply because people are used to it. Apple releases an iPhone with a number and follows it up with an S model. Like...this is even known outside the smartphone nerd world. People get it. In addition, Apple gives a new number model to major revisions of their iDevices like they would software. If an S model isn't a major revision, then it doesn't get a new number. I do agree that Apple should stop assigning numbers to their products and I was honestly hoping the iPad was a sign of them letting it go. They don't call it the MacBook Pro 2 or 3...they just call it the MacBook Pro. Same goes for the iPod Touch. Why not just do the same with the iPhone and iPad? The naming is annoying to me...but confusing? No.

24. PowTheBowl

Posts: 86; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

I believe that they can't remove the number from the iPhone/iPad generations because when a new iPhone/iPad is released, the past generation will still sell at a cheaper price. Old gen MacBooks are discontinued when new MacBooks are announced.

36. yazbuh

Posts: 29; Member since: Jun 21, 2012

actually nokia also uses naming sequel to their phone, like nokia n-series models and N9X as the flagship...

45. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2280; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Nokia used it too, as yazbuh said. And how about Sony Ericsson? K800i? K810i? K850i? Walkman series? Cyber-shot series?

54. tigermcm

Posts: 861; Member since: Sep 02, 2009

sanyo 8100, 8200, 8300, 8400 they where pre-iPhone too

47. sipha

Posts: 440; Member since: May 12, 2012

wow, you make it seem like apple invented the sequelizing of products.. When i look at: iPhone iPhone 3G iPhone 3Gs iPhone 4 iPhone 4s I see no particular sequel order in this!!

52. tigermcm

Posts: 861; Member since: Sep 02, 2009

not to be rude but the S is for sequel ......4s means sequel to the 4th

80. sipha

Posts: 440; Member since: May 12, 2012

@tigermcm, am not realy sure what you mean...but i thought cooks already confirmed that the s on the 4s stand siri...and i heard on the 3Gs it stand for speed(as in 3G speed)...

53. JeffdaBeat unregistered

God, you guys are terrible at reading comprehension. In fact, I wrote my post the way I did because I figured someone would say, "Oh, so Apple invented sequenced phones now?!" Here is my exact quote from above: "Before the iPhone, most smartphones manufacturers didn't have a habit of giving their phones a sequel." Most smartphones. Not all smartphones. And this was indeed true back then.

69. Izoe

Posts: 149; Member since: Sep 02, 2010

Actually you're the one who doesn't know how to convey your thoughts in writing. Your comment is easily misleading. Anyone who reads your comment will see it implies Apple "practically", started the sequenced phone trend. All the big names in the mobile industry(Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, LG ) already had sequenced phones before Apple, so when you said most phone manufactures weren't doing it before Apple, what Manufacturers were you referring to?

79. JeffdaBeat unregistered

Again...I said most. Most is not absolute, otherwise I would have said, "Before the iPhone, smartphone manufacturers didn't have a habit of giving their phones a sequel." The difference that one word can make. And the difference your post can make if you actually read though the entire post instead of coming to some conclusion beforehand. And which ones? Most of them. Before the iPhone, most (there's that word again) phones didn't have a brand to follow except the Razr. People weren't able to name a phone outside the manufacturer. Apple made their phone a brand and didn't call it anything other than iPhone and whatever sequence it was in the line. Other smartphone makers did the same thing. Instead of tricking people into thinking they were getting a completely different phone (by giving it a new name...sometimes different names per carrier), they started giving their more popular phones a sequence. HTC came out with the Touch Pro and the Touch Pro II. Blackberry didn't have a habit of releasing new models until we got to maybe the Storm II. Before that, they went by model numbers or just came out with a new naming all together. The BB Bold would have been a great successor to the Curve or even 8830. Of course eventually they did come out with the Curve II. Giving your phone a successor makes people invest in the brand. No, Apple did not pioneer it and I never said they did. But they did show the importance of investing in it. Is their naming confusing, I'd argue no...because everyone is used to the iPhone (insert name here) and the next year will the be the S model. People get it. Is their naming f**king annoying...yes. I still disagree about it being confusing.

62. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

You completely missed Jeff's point

59. ahhxd717

Posts: 332; Member since: Dec 08, 2011

Yeah, I kinda understand what you're saying. What I find annoying is that Apple doesn't actually have a solid pattern for naming their phones. Yeah, the S is pretty much for a sequel with no design change, but the number itself means whatever they want it to. The iPhone 3G was named because it had 3g connectivity and the number had nothing to do with it being the 2nd iPhone, but conveniently they named the fourth iteration iPhone 4, because it was the fourth, and since the number 3 was in the last name, this somehow facilitated the sequential numbering. But this confused people once 4G came out, because, since the last iPhone was named 3G, the 4 must also mean it has 4G. Then when the iPhone 5 was ready, they couldn't name it the iPhone 6 since that means they would have skipped a number, even though they named the iPhone 4 for its numbering in the series. I really don't know. So now iPhone 5 is called that for no reason at all. I mean, it's not even like a 5th generation of design or anything. So yeah, the naming is really confusing since it really has no semantic component behind it. It's hard for me to even try to write about it.

71. quakan

Posts: 1419; Member since: Mar 02, 2011

The iPhone 4 was actually Apple's first sequelizing by number phone. The 3g and 3gs were named by its main feature/improvement. The iPhone 4 just made sense since it was the fourth generation iPhone. Edit: I just read that @ahhxd717 pretty much said the same thing. Lol

74. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That's true.

23. PowTheBowl

Posts: 86; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

The 2nd gen iPhone is called the iPhone 3...

35. yazbuh

Posts: 29; Member since: Jun 21, 2012

actually it was called iphone 3g because it supports 3g... connection

2. wendygarett unregistered

Well, the product itself is already weak :) so I don't mind that...

11. iushnt

Posts: 3139; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

So true!!!

13. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

You can never take Wendy serious dude. Next week the iPhone according to Wendy will be the greatest thing since sliced bread.

15. Daftama

Posts: 641; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Haha....that would be great as long as she doesnt think palm phones r coming and will be the greatest device ever lol

18. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Lol with Wendy that wouldn't surprise me

58. Jack58221

Posts: 157; Member since: Feb 23, 2013

What! Palm and BB are merging to make a new line of phones that you can slide bread with!?!?

49. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

The product might be weak, but it does sell well . P.S - Not an Apple fan.

76. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Hey the truth is the truth, regardless of who you like/dislike.


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

iAgree, iThink that too much emphasis is placed on iEverything; it has gotten to the point that anything and everything associated with the incrementally upgraded device is prefaced with an "i", where is there any iMagination in that? Also, sequentially, they seem to have a problem counting forward which speaks to their iQ but, alas, iDigress, this has nothing to do with intelligence, or the lack thereof, this is about stupid iBranding. Just plain ole' stupid iBranding!!!!

5. gmracer1

Posts: 646; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

^Comment of the Year nominee.

9. Aeires unregistered

If the "i" meant something, it would make sense. If it really does mean something, it's not very well known. In reality, the "i" has become just a tired gimmick.

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

It stands for Internet

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