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We’re not the only ones used to calling it the iWatch – even Tim Cook slips up

I tweeted earlier that it’s going to take a while to get used to referring to the Apple Watch instead of iWatch, and it seems I’m in good company. As The Verge noted, even Tim Cook said iWatch during his ABC News interview when talking about US jobs created by the company.

Developers writing applications for iPhone and iPad and Mac and now, of course, as of today, the iWatch

The question is, was the slip-up because Cook spends too much time reading tech sites, or was it that Apple originally intended to release it as the iWatch, having a change of mind some way down the line?

iWatch was (and I think still is) the obvious name for the product. Apple Watch feels awkward in comparison. As Mike Beasley observed, Apple Phone or Apple Tablet doesn’t have the same ring as iPhone and iPad, so why not iWatch? It surely can’t just be that Apple was miffed that the tech press has been using the term so long it felt it had to prove us wrong?

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  1. hayesunt - 9 years ago

    There’s the Apple TV. Perhaps they consider these different types of category and differentiate it thus. “Hobbies”? There is also Apple Pay, not iPay.

    • Ben Lovejoy - 9 years ago

      Apple TV was, I suspect, because ITV is a registered trademark (a British TV company). Apple Pay also seems weird to me …

      • Jörg Wißemann - 9 years ago

        but the alternative would be iPay, even when you pay ;)))

      • Shahab 21 (@Shahab_21) - 9 years ago

        Even iPay is a registered trademark for a payment processing company.

  2. I think we may have seen the last of the “i” on new products. Both Apple Pay and Apple Watch have joined Apple TV as totally “i”-less. As far as the watch goes, Apple seems saying it’s an “Apple Watch” more because it’s a watch made by Apple rather than always having to be branded exactly as “Apple Watch.” The title bar of their new homepage has a category for just “Watch.”

  3. eldonchew - 9 years ago

    iWatch is already a trademark in Switzerland?

    • eldonchew - 9 years ago

      That’s why Apple named it Apple Watch

  4. PMZanetti - 9 years ago

    The i-prefix works better for some. I think Apple prefix works well too. AppleTV is a well established one. ApplePay rolls off the tongue just as well, and sounds better than iPay would, because Pay can be a verb. Same deal as iWatch. “I Watch” sounds more like, again, a verb, rather than a noun. Apple Watch is perfect.

  5. It’s not obvious name. “i” from the beginning stand for “internet”. Apple Watch doesn’t (seem to) have internet connectivity on it’s own, therefore no “i” :)

  6. chrisl84 - 9 years ago

    Apple Watch and Apple Pay are using the company name directly to remind customers of the Apple brand. Its a subtle but clever marketing mechanism.

  7. samuelsnay - 9 years ago

    Calling it “iWatch” would have been confusing/creepy.

    “You watch what?”

  8. Shaun Green (@ShaunX8) - 9 years ago

    You think maybe this is a sign of things to come? Replacing the “i” with “Apple” to try and strengthen the core Apple brand. That way they have no copyright problems as they could it Apple Anything. Would be a bold move to replace the iPhone with Apple Phone.

  9. xprmntr - 9 years ago

    Apple care

  10. It’s called Apple TV, not iTV.. Get over it folks….there is precedent.

  11. Alistair Halls - 9 years ago

    What I find interesting about using ‘Apple’ instead of ‘i’ is that media outlets are now abbreviating it to ‘Watch’ – this is slightly at odds with how Apple achieved ubiquity in the tablet space with ‘iPad’.

    In my eyes, removing the ‘i-‘ does serve to make the device more personal, simply because the word Apple is being used to describe it; ‘watch’ simply serves to identify the object, sans brand.

  12. iucpa - 9 years ago

    Also, there is never (and was never) anything called iTouch. It’s iPod Touch. This has always driven me crazy.

    • bellevueboy - 9 years ago

      So true, I have to keep telling people that. At one point I thought that apple might launch the watch as the new iPod taking care of all potential trademark issues.

  13. bellevueboy - 9 years ago

    With all the I device names squatted on or in use it’s tough to fight that battle. Is it only me that thought that the font in the presentAtion with the apple logo and the word watch was off? It seemed dated and not the regular ios 7 redo signed font.

  14. Timothy Williamson - 9 years ago

    Apple Watch makes sense to me, but what I don’t get is Cook and Bono’s odd interaction and finger touch on stage.

  15. jigsaw4life - 9 years ago

    “Iwatch” is taken already, simple as that.

    • Ben Lovejoy - 9 years ago

      Apple has bought trademarks plenty of times in the past. iTV was a tough one as the owner really wasn’t interested, but most times money talks …

      • jigsaw4life - 9 years ago

        I feel the Swatch company blocking the trademark influenced that decision too, I’m sure many factors are behind the reasoning for the name but it didn’t seem like Swatch was interested to let go of the similar name based on how they responded to apples filings, but I agree. Who would walk away from an apple offer.

  16. shm1ck83 - 9 years ago

    I reckon they Apple will start to steer away from the “i” prefix, as every other company jumped on the “i” bandwagon just to make them look cool.

    Apple Watch and Apple Pay, I like the names.

    But even after the Keynote I noticed news programs were announcing it as an iWatch, and Phil was noted as being the CEO. Shitty reporting here in Australia!

  17. logan (@loggann_) - 9 years ago

    its because when you say, “my iWatch”, it sounds weird. “my apple watch” sounds much better

  18. Imran Basha - 9 years ago

    I think Mr Tim Cook is trying to make his own image by trying to change the product name “i” is meant for Late Mr Steve ….
    We love iApple Products on the creation and hounor of Mr Steve , The Man who change the world by making his unique products and unquie name ….
    It will be more hounrably to Mr Cook to Prefix as iProducts to each and every new iProducts , Still we love to call it iWatch than Apple Watch which wired in naming it…..
    So all our iFans let’s protest to bring back iSteve to live back ….



Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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