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People are just learning what the 'i' in iPhone and iPad stands for


Tech giant Apple might have been around for almost half a century but it seems people are only now realising the message behind its iconic ‘i’ branding.

It started with the iMac and then came the likes of the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

And it would seem there is a “secret message” behind the ‘i’ as social media users say it stands for five “magic words” Apple has been subtly communicating.

Having started life as Apple Computer Company back in 1976, is today universally known as Apple, having ascended to become one of the globe’s most valuable companies in terms of market capitalization.

The seeds of Apple’s meteoric rise were sown on April 1, 1976, by the iconic trio: Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, who joined forces to bring Wozniak’s Apple I personal computer to the masses.

A year later, Jobs and Wozniak incorporated the company, setting it on a path to greatness.

However, by 1985, both founders had departed Jobs to create NeXT, and Wozniak to pursue new adventures.

In a twist of fate, with Apple teetering on the brink of insolvency in 1997, the company acquired NeXT, paving the way for Jobs’s triumphant return and the subsequent revolution he would lead.

It was under his visionary leadership that the world was introduced to the iMac in August 1998, followed by the iPod in October 2001, the iPhone in January 2007, and the iPad in January 2010, reports the Mirror.

Yet, despite these product names being part of our lexicon for over two decades, the significance behind the pervasive ‘i’ prefix remained a mystery to many until a curious Reddit user posed the question: “What is meant by ‘i’ in iPhone, iPad and iMac?”

The answer harks back to a 1998 keynote where Steve Jobs unveiled the iMac, declaring that the ‘i’ symbolized five pivotal concepts: “internet, individual, instruct, inform and inspire”.

Engadget reports that Steve Jobs was initially not a fan of the name iMac and preferred to call his new computer MacMan. However, advertising creative director Ken Segall managed to convince him otherwise.

A statement reads: “Ken worked for a long time with Steve Jobs and his company, trying to name this new groovy computer.

“Segall hit on the name ‘iMac’ early on, but Jobs didn’t like it, and didn’t like any of the other names offered as well.

“He had one name that he liked, he told Segall ‘If you can’t beat MacMan, that’s what it’s gonna be. ‘ Eventually, Jobs relented, but Segall says that he never officially agreed, of course.”

“Because he’s Steve Jobs. One day, iMac was just the name, ‘and that was the end of the story’.”

Commenting on the ‘i’ in Apple products, one user said: “I thought it always meant that it is ‘My Pod, or my Phone’.”

Another user added: “It’s not about what it means, but how it makes you feel. It’s meant to invoke.”

A third user said: “I thought ‘I am the ‘i’ in iPhone’ – as it’s so intuitive to use like I am the phone. So iPhone”

One more user added: “Fun fact: Steve Jobs originally wanted to call it the MacMan rather than iMac.

“We could have been living in a world of the Apple MacMan and PodMan and PhoneMan and TunesMan and PadMan.”

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