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iPhone, iPod, iPad, iCal, iLife, etc. Does the "i" mean anything? And is it a trademark for Apple?

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Surprised nobody asked this before. –  Moshe Oct 20 '10 at 23:54

6 Answers 6

up vote 36 down vote accepted

When Steve Jobs first introduced the iMac in 1998, he proclaimed that the i stood for Internet. Jobs went on to say, "i also means some other things to us" and displayed a presentation slide with the keywords:

internet
individual
instruct
inform
inspire

You can even view video of this event.

The "i" was first used on the iBook and iMac. These were produced as Steve Jobs wanted a pro and consumer model of a desktop and portable computer. This later rolled out with more products, iSight, iPod, iPhone, iPad.

Yes the products are trademarked, but using an "i" itself before a product is not trademarked and it cannot be. Here is Apple's trademark list

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Thats the correct Answer.. –  rohan-patel Oct 25 '11 at 7:17
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This is also what's been stated in the biography by Walter Isaacson. –  gentmatt Jan 9 '12 at 17:15

It's the I as in me. It means that these things somehow empower you.

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Or hold power over you. –  Michael Todd Oct 19 '10 at 23:07

According to Wikipedia (for the iMac at least):

Apple declared the 'i' in iMac to stand for "Internet"; it also represents the product's focus as a personal device ('i' for "individual").

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The whole idea of the first iMac was that you take it out of the box, plug in the power, and then plug in the modem with a phone line. Internet access made easy. The "i" stood for internet.

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I asked a rep at the Apple store. They said that it stood for Internet, on the first iMac.(As others have answered.) Now it is just a brand.

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In technology, the i-word is frequently related to "innovation". So the "i" in iphone could mean "innovative."

Berkun, S. (2010). The Myths of Innovation (First ed., pp. 1-82). Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly Media, Inc.

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protected by bmike Apr 14 at 3:31

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