“TelePod,” “Mobi,” And Other Bad Names Apple Could Have Given To iPhone

We all know that most brand names are not the result of the first thing that pops into an inventor’s head. But it’s a little hard to imagine a world where everyone is going gaga for each new iteration of the Apple Telepod.

It would have seemed like the name for Apple’s incredibly popular iPhone smartphone was a natural progression from the company’s industry-changing iPod music players, but according to former Apple advertising lead Ken Segall, who previously revealed that Steve Jobs wanted to call the iMac “The MacMan,” the company went through a process of vetting several names before deciding on iPhone.

9to5mac attended Segall’s talk at the University of Arizona yesterday, where he revealed four of those possible names (one of which is now quite familiar):

1. TelePod: Segall says Apple this name put a futuristic spin on “telephone,” while tying the device in to the established iPod brand name.

2. Mobi: How do you shorten a word like “mobile” that doesn’t really need shortening? By chopping off the last two letters. It still takes as long to say and just sounds like the name of a bald-headed vegan DJ/musician/producer.

3. TriPod: Another example of trying to tweak the iPod name, while trying to indicate that the new device has three functions — phone, mp3 player, Internet access. We’re assuming this lost out because everyone would expect the thing to have three legs.

4. iPad: Yup, the eventual name for the Apple tablet was a possibility for the iPhone. Of course, plenty of people snickered at the iPad name when it was originally announced, so perhaps it was better for Apple to go with the more direct iPhone and wait for that to become a hit before using iPad a few years later.

Would any of these have worked? Vote in the poll below.

[via ArsTechnica]