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October 5, 2011

Apple Naming Not Just For iPhones


Today, as I think about the new iPhone 4S, I find myself turning to naming and branding issues as they affect not only Apple smartphones, but apples that you actually eat.

You do remember those, don't you? Those red or green crunchy things?

It seems that the apple industry has discovered that naming apples can add an immense amount of value.

A Cornell University professor has just released research showing that so-called "club apple varieties" can be sold for a great deal more if they have interesting names. Some examples of these would be "Pinata, Cameo, Jazz, Ambrosia, Pacific Beauty."

These boutique apple brands sell for as much as $3.50 per pound while regular old apples sell for about $1.60 per pound.

This is all explained in new research put out by Assistant Professor Brad Rickard at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. I think that the people in Cupertino, the worldwide headquarters of Apple Inc., should really read this article.

Here we have a really simple idea. Take a product everybody knows - like apples - make it slightly different and sweeter, give it a good name, and bingo, you can sell it for more.

But Cupertino does not seem to understand this. They just announced the release of iPhone 4S, a newer iPhone that we all know and love to a resounding chorus of "meh" on the part of Apple loyalists. Some simply say that the "S" is for "Same" but the fact is that this is a pretty substantial upgrade. So why is it that people aren't too excited about it? As one person on twitter said "What if they just *called* it iPhone 5? Everyone cool then?"

Why, yes, thank you.

We wanted an iPhone 5. And it did not come. A new and improved version came, but it was not the brand name we were looking for. And the outcry has been immense. Apple seems to be holding off on the iPhone 5 name for a smartphone that will come next year.

In the meantime, tech experts are trying to get us to love a phone that really seems to be similar to what is already out there only in shape. The International Business Times opinion says "Apple delivered on a new iPhone, but at the end of the day, users wanted a completely new iPhone."

Hmmm. When is a phone completely new? Why, when you give it a new brand name of course.

I sincerely believe that if Apple had simply called this new manifestation of the iPhone the iPhone 5, the reception would be much warmer.

Could it be that Apple should learn from people who sell apples?

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Posted by William Lozito at October 5, 2011 8:00 AM
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