Backstage: Naming the next iPod
Just when the iPod rumor mill seemed ready to die down until 2005, someone had to go and discover two open Apple job listings for hardware engineers familiar with various video and wireless data technologies. Normally, of course, Apple Computer‘s attempts to hire such people would not surprise anyone. But the fact that the positions were listed specifically for the company’s iPod division raised some eyebrows, and deservedly so. If “it’s the music, stupid,” we get the 802.11x stuff, but what is all this video and GSM phone hoo-hah about?
Answer: the future. In my mind, the question has never been whether Apple would release a more versatile portable device than the iPod - they will. Specs aside, the question is really limited to whether they will call it an iPod, or something else.
Evidence that they’ll call it an iPod: Way back in my Future Pods article (February 2004), I noted that even if Apple released what we predicted would be the “iPod 2” (a thinner, iterative 3G iPod with better battery life (yes, yes), maybe a Click Wheel (yes), and a removable battery (bzzzt)), they probably wouldn’t use that name - they’d again call it the iPod (ding ding). And then there’s the fact that they named their new division the “iPod” group rather than the “advanced portable consumer electronics” group or something more nebulous. The company clearly loves the iPod brand name, and since “Pod” isn’t a strictly music word per se, most signs suggest that Apple’s future portable devices will play on that name. We still think that Apple should go with an iPod AV name rather than, say, a vPod or an iVid, but…
Evidence that they’ll call it something else: Apple recently moved to trademark the word “Pod” sans the i, and fans have been guessing that the company might do something goofy and create a PowerPod and an iPod to parallel the PowerBook and iBook. This would be a bad idea from a branding standpoint, and my instincts are that Apple’s only doing this to prevent companies from selling aPods, bPods, and cPods. (Or, for that matter, HomePods and Dvx-Pods.) But then there’s the other theory. Having moved recently to secure a European design patent for a small tablet computer, Apple may be thinking of releasing the convergence fanatics’ dream machine: an “iPad” that uses OS X at the core of a super PDA that plays movies, recognizes handwriting for office applications, and interfaces wirelessly with networks for communications. To call such a device an “iPod” would be stretching it… but something similar wouldn’t be bad, right?
I’m casting my vote for iPod AV anyway. :-) Your thoughts?
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Logitech debuts Type+ Keyboard for iPad Air
- Upcoming iPad Air to have gold color option
- Apple Q4 earnings call coming October 20
- European magazine gets blacklisted by Apple for posting “Bendgate” video
- “Reset All Settings” in iOS 8 may also erase iCloud Drive content
- Apple’s tax deal in Ireland may be illegal according to EU regulators
- Apple releases first iOS 8.1 beta to developers
- iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus hit China Oct. 17, pre-orders Oct. 10
- Report: iOS 8.1, 8.2, 8.3 in simultaneous development
- French fashion retailer Colette to hold in-store Apple event
- Spigen Capsule, Neo Hybrid / EX / Metal + Ultra Hybrid for iPhone 6
- Griffin Survivor All-Terrain, Core, and Slim for iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 Plus
- Griffin Identity, Reveal cases for iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 Plus
- Orbotix Ollie by Sphero
- IK Multimedia iRig Mic HD
- JBL Charge 2 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker
- Bowers & Wilkins C5 Series 2 In-Ear Headphones
- Urban Armor Gear Composite Case for iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 Plus
- Speck CandyShell, Card, Grip + Inked cases for iPhone 6
- Incipio DualPro Shine, Edge for iPhone 6 + NGP for iPhone 6 Plus
- The Early Guide To Apple Watch Apps
- iLounge’s Top iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 Plus Case Picks (Fall 2014)
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 8.0
- Multi-Editorial: On Apple’s iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus + Apple Watch
- What’s New In Apple TV 7.0
- What’s New in iTunes 12
- iLounge Picks: Five Great Summer Party Speakers
- Editorial: Endings And Beginnings
- Live From CE Week 2014: Brand New iPad, iPhone + Mac Accessories!
- What’s New In iOS 8 For iPad, iPhone + iPod touch