iPhone, iPod, iPad, iCal, iLife, etc. Does the "i" mean anything? And is it a trademark for Apple?
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:
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
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").
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.
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.
It's the I as in me. It means that these things somehow empower you.
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.