Apple's iPhone might have been a 'Mobi'

Ken Segall, Apple's former advertising director, says the company had a number of potential names in mind for its smartphone. TelePod, anyone?

Hello, Mobi, er, iPhone.
Hello, Mobi, er, iPhone. CBS Interactive

Apple had several names on the table years back when it was ready to launch its smartphone, and only eventually did the name "iPhone" win out.

Speaking yesterday to the University of Arizona's Department of Marketing, former Apple advertising executive Ken Segall said that before the iPhone launched, some other names for the device were considered, including Mobi, TelePod, TriPod, and even iPad.

According to 9to5Mac, which was in attendance at the event, Apple liked TelePod because it conveyed a future-focused angle on a traditionally "old" product, the telephone. Mobi was considered because Apple thought it sounded somewhat cool, and TriPod was one of the frontrunners because the device could combine a phone with an iPod and Web services.

Ultimately, however, Apple settled on iPhone, deciding that was the best name for its creation. The smartphone launched in 2007 and instantly became a hit.

However, choosing the "iPhone" moniker didn't prove to be the simplest of tasks. The company was force to settle with Cisco Systems, the company that previously owned the "iPhone" brand, to use that name. More recently, Apple has also found itself waging battles over the iPhone name in Brazil .

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About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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