Technology: January 2010 Archives

It's Official: iPad Naming Makes Women Cringe

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OK, I've already apologized for predicting Steve Jobs would name his new gadget the iSlate.

It is indeed the iPad, a name I would not have chosen for two reasons. First, as I wrote a week before the announcement, it looks like "iPod" and second, that word "iPad" already has been mocked on Mad TV as sounding too much like the Maxi Pad feminine hygiene product.

It seemed impossible that Apple would choose it, because they know full well how viral humor on the Internet can sway customer perception about a product.

I'm not alone in this, it seems.

This morning there is a backlash against the name that is pretty intense. CNET calls it "cringe-worthy", Gizmodo predicts a slew of Maxi-Pad jokes, and The New York Times says that it makes women "cringe" (there's that word again), reporting that the word "iTampon" is making the rounds across Twitter.

Fast Company is even more succinct: "Apple's iPad Name Not the First Choice for Women. Period." PC World is already counting the "sneers and jeers" on the Internet, wondering if this is a "Venus vs. Mars" issue.

Blogger Anne Althouse, wonders if Apple bothered to check with any women about this one.

Or men. Let's face it, what guy wants to buy a product that sounds like it's a Wi-Fi sanitary napkin?

It also seems that Apple doesn't have any iPad-related domain names yet, either.

As if that was not bad enough, the name also may lead to a big fight with Fujitsu, because the Japanese company has sought a trademark on the name since 2003.

Since 2002, Fujitsu has been manufacturing a handheld computer called the iPad. Although Fujitsu lost its trademark rights last year, Masahiro Yamane, the PR head of Fujitsu, still believes they have the rights to the iPad name.

All in all, it is really hard to believe that Apple could not have seen this coming. I have rarely seen such quick, vitriolic backlash against a product name. I have never, ever seen such intense mockery aimed at Apple.

And while I am an Apple fan and we are a Mac shop, I might add that their past naming mistakes (cough, Lisa, ahem, Newton) perhaps not coincidentally were attached to doomed products.

Steve, what were you thinking?

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There's a potential trademark dispute brewing between HTC, the Taiwanese cell phone maker, and ShoreTel, the Sunnyvale, California-based Internet Protocol phone system provider.

HTC's new tagline is, "Quietly brilliant."

ShoreTel's new tagline is, "Brilliantly simple."

The trouble is, both companies compete in International Class Code 9, and 37. International Class Codes divide consumer goods and services into similar categories and are primarily used to file trademarks.

In the United States, ShoreTel has a jump on HTC since they filed earlier on June 8, 2009, and actually were just allowed the slogan by the US trademark office.

But internationally, HTC filed for a trademark application for its "Brilliantly simple," slogan which the US and other country trademark offices have not ruled on yet.
I think, ShoreTel's trademark filing of "Brilliantly simple," has a good chance of trumping HTC's "Quietly brilliant," in both the US and globally, since ShoreTel can claim that they had every intention to file "Brilliantly simple," globally.

It will be interesting to see how this potential trademark clash will play out.

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So today is the big day.

At 10 AM Pacific time we will finally get to know what on earth Apple plans on calling it's new tablet computer at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center.

I am still betting on iSlate, as is the site, which yesterday asked the horrible question: What if there is no iSlate? And even if there is one, what if it's not called iSlate?

Gizmodo leads us through the myriad of rumors around the device, reminding us that the device is generally being referred to as a "tablet" although the code name is K48.

Engadget tried to sell us all on the idea that iTablet is the obvious name by showing an email supposedly sent out by Apple with an iTablet file heading, but has since recanted.

Wired has just published a fascinating article suggesting that the event might not be about tablets at all but instead about content management.

I'm are really wondering what this is going to be called.

I am standing by iSlate, as are the bookies (yes, people are betting on this, I am not one of them).

I am also rejecting Doonesbury's suggestion that this will be called the "Jesus Tablet". Steve Jobs doesn't walk on water. Yet.

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Sony's yet to be officially released new motion controller has had quite a
few names attached to it over the last year or so, such as the "Sphere" and the "Gem". Now the blogosphere has churned out the name that sounds about right: the "Arc".

This comes after a website called was registered, although nobody can confirm if Sony registered it. PSP World suggests that this be called the "Sony Fuse" or the "Sony Muv" or else the "Playstation Shift".

We do know that Sony has registered , leading me to think that VG247 has it right, the Arc name is a keeper.

PSX Extreme describes the Arc as, "Having two wand-like, Wii-like pieces, each of which is topped with a tracking device in the shape of a ball. It's why people have been calling it the 'ice cream cone controller.'"

The appearance of the thing has already created some ridiculous bogus names, which you can read about here. Trust the gaming geeks to make these puerile connections. Look out for it this spring.

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Is Apple's iSlate Naming Changing to iPad?

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Okay, the new iSlate from Apple may actually be an iPad.

islate.pngIt is looking less like becoming an iTablet by the minute. And the iGuide looks less and less like a possibility, as the new trademark filing for the iPad has the blogosphere all agog.

It seems that last month the name iPad name was snagged by a company called IP Application Development, which might be a dummy for Apple just as Slate Computing, which trademarked iSlate, seems to have been.

Already there are doubts about the iPad name, which was ripped off back in 2006 on Mad TV, according to Wired; a poll on the same page has people loving the iSlate name by a pretty large margin.

Still, don't count out iTablet. As of yesterday Boy Genius is still using the name.

As for me, I am betting on iSlate. Why?

Call it judgement, or call gut feeling. Think about it. They have the iPhone, iMac and iPod. Why suddenly have the iTablet?

Apple goes for one syllable after the lowercase "i" and iPad looks a heck of a lot like iPod. I'm thinking this filing was just to stir up hype for the Jan 27 Event at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater.

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Sometimes a brand name is not a brand name. Instead, it's a placeholder or an internal code name for another brand new product. It's an approach used when a company does not want to tip off the competition.

Take for instance, the MacGuffin that Apple seems set to release on Jan 27. We are all wondering if it will be called an iSlate, but Apple is keeping mum.

However, in a recent 'Save the Date' release to information starved journalists, Apple asks invites writers to, "Come see our latest creation," which just sounds downright creepy. It's like some kind of techno speak for a new baby.

What is it? What will it be called? We have no idea. They have dropped a few hints, though. The invitation is decorated with bright ink splotches, suggesting that "colour may be an important feature of the new product."

Coke, another brand we all know and love, is busy testing out a 90 calorie version. Well, sort of. They are offering us a 7.5 oz can, as opposed to the the regular 12 oz can. You get less, so you consume less calories.

So this is sort of a new name but sort of not. It certainly doesn't seem to come with a new price.

One blogger jokingly calls it "Wee-Coke," while Amy Brightfield wonders if we really will drink less of it, or just crack open two cans, making for a 15 oz, 180 calorie Coke drinking experience.

If that happens, Jennifer LaRue Huget asks "whose fault is that?"

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iSlate Naming and Branding on the New Mac Tablet?

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Trying to figure out exactly what Steve Jobs will name his forthcoming MacGuffin - otherwise known as the "Mac Tablet" or "iSlate or "TabletMac" - is just no fun, but all the blogosphere chatter on this subject just cannot be ignored.

appletablet250.pngArik Hesseldahl weighed in on December 27 in Businessweek with a blog that predicted the release of this thing within the first quarter of the year, noting that the Cupertino Kremlin had, as usual, kept silent about its intentions, while quietly acquiring the name TabletMac from company called Axiotron.

Today, Businessweek and the Wall Street Journal up the release date to this month, calling it a "tablet PC" (horrors!) or a "tablet computer" and predicting a shipment of 10 million computers within the first year of release.

The code name might be iSlate, and the real name of this might be iSlate. In fact, recently leaked information points to an iSlate product and site.

The TabletMac name has been filed under the "interesting but doesn't mean much" category by 9to5Mac, just as a means through which the company can avoid the likelihood of confusion with other brand names out there.

Whatever happens, it seems that January 26 is the day on which all will be revealed at the Yerba Beuna Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

I'm betting on iSlate. They need to differentiate this product from the Mac range.

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