Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Has the i- prefix jumped the shark?

I think I hit my breaking point over the weekend. I was checking my Facebook stream, and I found a FriendFeed reference (since deleted) to a satirical Crystalair post entitled "Apple iSlate Expected To Cause Spontaneous Orgasms."

Yes, the iSlate already has its own .org website and its own Wikipedia entry (which also notes that the yet-to-be-announced product has also been referred to as the iPad). Well, it currently has its own Wikipedia entry; "This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedia's deletion policy." (But that's another topic.)

iSlate, of course, is the assumed name for a follow-up product to the iPhone (2007), the iPod (2001), and the iMac (1998). The i prefix, which may or may not have stood for "internet," has also been used by a number of other companies. The example with which I am most familiar is Oracle, which followed its Oracle 8 database release with an Oracle 8i database release.

But by 2003, Oracle had dropped the use of "i" and had moved to the "g" designation, as in the Oracle Database 10g release. (The "g" stands for grid.) However, Apple and other companies have continued to use the "i" branding. In fact, I can use my Amazon Associates account to offer various "i-" products to you, including the i-Dog and one of many iCarly products.

But there's at least one "i-" product that iCarly would never discuss, which Amazon Associates would never offer, and which Apple really really didn't like.

A News of the World report says Apple lawyers are flushed over sex shops hawking a £30 iGasm peripheral, which plugs into a music player and vibrates to the beat.

The ads picture the silhouette of a woman on bended knee with familiar white wires leading from ears, to peripheral, to...

Um, you get the picture.

But regardless of all the peripheral products, the fact remains that Apple has been using "i-" whatever in its marketing since 1998, which is something like two or three generations in the technology world. While Oracle has moved on to "g" (I'm still waiting for it to move to "m") and while other companies have adopted new marketing, Apple has shied away from being innovative and cool in its product naming, and has instead remained stodgy and stick-in-the-mud.

Since all of the third party products (i-Dog, iGasm, etc.) didn't alert Apple to the fact that its product naming is decidedly mainstream, perhaps it's time to propose a few more i-names to drive the point home.

The first one that came to mind was iDubya, but that name is already in use on Twitter and elsewhere. (And yes, there's an @inixon.)

And yes, there have been references to iLiver 2.0. Here's John Dvorak's take.

And for those interested in bodily functions, there is the iToilet.

But the most fascinating one for me is the availability of iDrugs. They're not your parents' drugs, that's for sure.

The iDrug works by putting your brain into one of 5 brainwave frequencies. They are Gamma, Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta.

Within each of these, there are multiple levels that can be attained. Monks meditate in the alpha and theta levels and some are able to get into the deeper levels of delta....

You have to get to the level of bypassing your subconscious mind in order to circumvent the limiting beliefs that are hindering your progress.

When you use an iDrug this is what happens. You are taken to a level that totally bypasses your subconscious mind and the limiting beliefs that are so ingrained in it. This is like getting by the gate keeper to your mind.

We then use questfirmations and affirmations to reprogram your subconscious mind with new positive empowering beliefs. These affirmations and questfirmations are assimilated with out much intervention from your subconscious beliefs.

So they freely make it by the gatekeeper of your mind. No editing, no nullifying, no rewriting. Just positive reprogramming....

You will automatically be put into a deep meditative state of mind that will make the questfirmations and affirmations readily accepted and with very little resistance.

After approximately 10-13 minutes the questfirmations or affirmations will begin to play softly and audibly in the background. Its a super relaxing, positive self talk session that is much more powerful than any other method you may have tried. All you have to do is sit back and listen.

As an LCMS Lutheran, I have another name for this process, but that's beside the point.

But the whole iDrug thing suggests something. If you can use some method to convince Apple - or at least those who purchase Apple products - that the i- prefix is undesirable, uncool, fascist, whatever - then perhaps Apple will change its marketing ploy and get rid of this tired old prefix.

Unless Steve overrules everyone, saying, "You know, iLiver 2.0 was a pretty good name."
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