Apple's Name Change

It seems some are, shall we say, overreacting to the name change from "Apple Computer" to "Apple." Please, everyone, relax. Practically no one has used the full company name in a decade, so this is just the formalization of what is already in place.

If you want actual proof, look at the massive amounts of time and money being invested in hardware and software. There would be no point in orchestrating a transition to Intel processors and a brand new operating system if they didn't plan to carry it into the future. Common sense, please.

Apple is not going to stop making computers, but they are evolving into a company that is based in more than just computers. To Mac fans, the main point is that the Mac design ethic expands into new areas. If any mainstream publication misinterprets it, let them. They'll figure it out eventually.

I think it's pretty clear the the reason Leopard, iLife, and iWork were not discussed is because they would have gotten buried in the announcement of a mobile phone. The best thing Apple could do for the Mac is not allow it to play second fiddle in a keynote.

Most importantly, though, the iPhone is a Mac.
Design Element
Apple's Name Change
Posted Jan 9, 2007 — 43 comments below


Steve-o — Jan 09, 07 3138

I agree completely. Why transition to Intel? Why create Leopard?

Macs are here to stay.

5 years ago, Steve Jobs said essentially the same thing during a keynote (this came in the context of the iPod, I think). This just formalized an attitude that already has been pervading.

Rob — Jan 09, 07 3140

Ya, it looks like an Mac app will run on the phone, or with a recompile.

I think the name change means Apple is going to start making a lot of acquisitions and working for more business in Asia.

Notice the statement at the end, "I skate to where the puck is !"

Apple is going to go after the biggest markets it can find.

I was checking into China recently and found that it will take 10 years, from now, for the number of wealthy in China equal the number in Japan.

And wealthy means 61K in assets, the USA average, not wealthy, is 85 or 100K something like that. I think the average income is $1100 and they don't consider this poor.

I have been to Hong Kong you would not think the pay is so low after seeing HK.

But China does not have as much wealth as I thought they had, I guess the biggest markets are still at the city centers all over Asia especially in Singapore, Taiwan, and HK.

Scott Stevenson — Jan 09, 07 3142 Scotty the Leopard

I think the name change means Apple is going to start making a lot of acquisitions
That would be out of character. In fact, I think the message today was that you don't have to merge to collaborate.

Carl — Jan 09, 07 3145

The computer is dead.

Apple won't stop making them anytime soon, but it's clear that as far as Jobs is concerned, the PC revolution is over and the peripheral is nearing its coming golden age.

The computer is dead.

Daniel — Jan 09, 07 3146

The computer is dead.

It's not. It's just shrinking in size.

Scott Stevenson — Jan 09, 07 3150 Scotty the Leopard

Apple won't stop making them anytime soon, but it's clear that as far as Jobs is concerned, the PC revolution is over and the peripheral is nearing its coming golden age
With all due respect, do you have anything to back up this rather large claim? There's a massive stockpile of evidence to the contrary. It seems like editing home movies on this would be rather awkward, for example. Or are we just going to make phone calls all day now? :)

Ben — Jan 09, 07 3156

As outrageous as it sounds, the so-called PC revolution really kinda is over. The 1980s and 1990s brought computing to the masses, but the increasing reliance on portable computers over desktop ones, shrinking form factors, ever more powerful phones, etc, means that "computing" as we traditionally think of it has been smeared across a whole bunch of our lives where it was once confined to the study room (or my 5th grade classroom, etc). This is the "convergence" they were talking about 10 years ago. It's finally coming to pass.

Of course, today's naming announcement has nothing to do with this. Apple is just reconciling an increasingly-inapt corporate name with their vision of the future. I think the point is that when computers are embedded in everything, it feels increasingly archaic to call any of the things "computers" anymore. Who cares what's a computer and what's not when I can edit movies on my laptop in the coffee shop, i can look up directions and get movie tickets on my phone, and instant message from airplanes? Apple's brand is now all about the Apple, not anymore about the Computers-- because they're all computers. It stands for hardware, software, and design excellence. But it's silly to think this somehow means that they are abandoning desktop Macintoshes.

In a way, the name change actually reminds me of the blurb on the cover of one of the last Hitchhikers' Guide books: "The fifth volume in the increasingly-inaptly named Hitchhiker's Trilogy"...

Paul — Jan 09, 07 3160

IMO, the iPhone is not a Mac unless it can run arbitrary unsigned 3rd party binaries. There's no evidence it has this capability -- the iPod doesn't, and most mobile phones don't. I think Apple will offer a very limited sandbox for toy sw development (think Dashcode), and will charge a hefty sum for the certification necessary to develop real apps.

The "Made for iPod" logo program for accessory manufacturers isn't exactly free either...

Paul — Jan 09, 07 3161

As an update to my previous comment, Macintouch got an official comment from Apple regarding the iPhone platform's openness:

"The only two iPhones at the show were under glass, and Apple representatives said it is a "closed platform", refusing even to identify the specific processor it uses, and there's apparently no developer kit for it, though 'developers who want to do applications [for the iPhone] are welcome to contact Apple developer relations.'"
(source: Macintouch front page)

David — Jan 09, 07 3164

"The only two iPhones at the show were under glass, and Apple representatives said it is a "closed platform",

Yeah, I'm a bit negative about this device, obviously, looking at it from the point of view of a Mac developer. This is part of the reason why: I get the impression that this will indeed be a closed platform. If you work with Apple then yeah, you might get a certified app running on the iPhone (like an iPod game), and you'd probably be subject to ITS marketing mechanisms.

In which case, I don't see this as a "Mac" at all, any more than an iPod is a Mac.

Or I could be completely wrong, and Apple throws open the doors and anyone who can download Xcode and knows a bit of javascript can create iPhone apps.

Andras Puiz — Jan 09, 07 3165

I don't know why Apple needs to state so emphatically that it's diversifying that even its name can't stay the same. Lots of companies have traditonal names that have little to do with what they are doing today.

Btw., why do you call the iPhone a Mac?

Ben — Jan 09, 07 3171

@Andras: You're right, Apple doesn't need to state this emphatically. They're a "special" company though, and they care enough about the brand image to do this. At no other company of that size would this ever cross the minds of the executive team. It's another Steve Jobs special.

OT: @Paul, etc. Re:development on the iPhone. Yeah, it's not a Mac. Check those expectations at the door right now. Dashboard widget compatibility makes sense technically and from a UX standpoint, so to the extent that 3rd parties will be writing arbitrary stuff, it will probably be more like widgets (or exactly widgets) than anything else. It *is* an embedded device; it's not a laptop.

Sam — Jan 09, 07 3172

Notice the statement at the end, "I skate to where the puck is !"

Apple is going to go after the biggest markets it can find.

Umm. No. Steve is saying that apple will look to the future to deliver what the market wants rather than trying to simply sell to the market that currently exists. Revolutionary, not evolutionary!

Rob — Jan 10, 07 3177

"Umm. No. Steve is saying that apple will look to the future to deliver what the market wants rather than trying to simply sell to the market that currently exists."

Umm. NO.

Smart phones already exist, Apple merely made a smarter phone.

The iPod on the other was first delivered when the market for the players was uncertain and Apple nearly invented MP3 players, the same for Airport.

The chart they put up right BEFORE the quote from Gretscy showed that the cell market, the numbers, are BIGGER then any other electronics market !!!

So TVs are NEXT and maybe a low end phone, certainly cheaper Macs, probably solid state.

And notice he laughed at the game console market because it was so small, don't expect Apple to get involved with that -- iPods and iPhones will play games instead !

Although he did also say that is what Apple has always done which is not true at all, when the Mac came out the market wanted easy and reliable programming not easy of use for users.

Although if he said that is what they have TRIED to do, that would be more accurate I think.

Also notice that EVERYONE was bending over backwards to stress that they were cooperating and NOT merging or buying each other out.

Every time this has happened in the past the OPPOSITE turned out to be THE TRUTH !!!

It is almost certain many mergers are in the works, with the purpose of funding BIG server farms and new high speed networks or strategic fiber buys !

The world wants and needs faster more reliable connections and the number and HUGE !

So Apple will probably get its own unique kind of smarter search engine soon.

I also sent Apple a GREAT idea on how to get into the auctions market in totally new way, but it may take couple of years before will actually work, it requires RFID.

Steve-o — Jan 10, 07 3184

Notice the statement at the end, "I skate to where the puck is !"

Actually, I believe the quote was closer to "I don't skate to where the puck is, I skate to where it will be." I could be wrong, but that's what I recall, and more imporantly, makes more sense - the idea is that they're trying to aim towards the future, not the present.

Whether it's actually proves to be true or not, that's the core marketing message.

Bill Coleman — Jan 10, 07 3185

I think a little history is appropriate here. At the end of the 19th century, one of the biggest industries were railroads. Today, while railroads are still important, they are not the huge thriving industries they were at one time.

So, what did the railroad companies miss in the 20th century?

They thought they were in the railroad business. In reality, they were in the TRANSPORTATION business. When new forms of transportation appeared (car, bus, airplane) these companies ignored them.

It harkens back to the Marconi company, as stated by Aitken in his book "The Continuous Wave" (a book on the early history of radio). I think I can quote it fairly accurately: "The Marconi company suffered from that disease which affects most corporations -- the tendency to cling to those technologies that first brought it success."

Apple appears to have the leadership to avoid this trap. Jobs doesn't think of Apple as being in the "computer" business, so he's not stuck in that paradigm. If anything, he seems to think of Apple as being in the "cool product" business. So, if there's a product idea pitched that's cool and fits with Apples core competancies, it will get executed.

Right now, Apple has two divisions: Mac and iPod. It would be interesting to know which divisions came up with the Apple TV and the iPhone. (iPhone is like from the iPod, Apple TV could go either way) Yet, I don't expect those divisions to stay static for the next 10 years....

As for Apple getting into the TV market -- I's speculate that this would not happen unless there's some kind of paradigm shift -- a new technology that other companies are slow to embrace. Apple's more likely to re-invent television by moving it out of the broadcast & cable industry, or by creating tools to allow one to create his own entertainment.

Who knows?

Of course, is anyone but me bothered a bit that they still call this show MacWorld?

Rob — Jan 10, 07 3186

"I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been !" -- Wayn Gretski (Sometin like that) THINK DELTA

And Jobs says, "This is what we have always TRIED to do at Apple."

But this is right after putting the chart on how big the numbers are for the various computing devices.

You can quote me on this, "The iPhone is Apple's first flash based computer."

Steve is call it a phone now but very soon people will see it as a new type of computer -- not a phone.

Mike — Jan 10, 07 3187

Like it or not, this (mobile-dependence) is a direction the world appears to be going. Ultimately, we'll look back and wonder why we were ever frightened, or how we ever got along without our future mobile devices. Just like cars, planes, trains, and pc's.

That being said, the bits that scare me are the apparent closed-nature of this first timid step by apple.

Regarding no public SDK, perhaps we feel a certain imaginary tipping point for devices where once they can do as many things as a "real" computer, you feel a greater right to it... moreso than if it were just a phone or ipod. I know I do.


Jose R. Vazquez — Jan 10, 07 3188

My thoughts only, no proof what so ever:

- I believe Jobs mentioned they did some custom hardware work. Intel seems to be involved... I am going to guess that they threw in an ARM/XScale core on a custom IC. I further bet there is also some small DSP in there to handle telecom signal processing and such. And most likely there is also an intel 3D Graphics core in there as well.

That is a guess, I have nothing to back it up with... but let's think about it, all three of these are necessary evils in this design. Clearly they need a processor that is efficient and consumes little power. The Duo Core is impressive for a laptop, but way too much for the little battery in there... so ther e is probably an ARM core in there.. it could be something else (Renesas SH familiy, PowerPC even...) but I doubt it... I'm guessing an ARM core of some sort.

There needs to be a DSP for the cellphone part of it... TI's OMAP products already mix ARMs and DSP (TI's own cores of course) so I would suspect something similar. I guess the DSP could be mixed with some other component to handle all the wireless stuff I don't now.. There is also WiFi and Bluetooth to be handled, but if Apple did a custom IC I bet they would try to throw as much as they could into a single IC.

Finally with all that Core Animation goodness, they must have at least a little graphics hardware help there. I doubt it would be efficient to do cover flow on software only ... so I am guessing something like the mac minis or the macbook (only less powerful still) something that shares main memory with the processor.

- With all this custom stuff, is this still a Mac?? well.. yeah, kind of... I bet the use the term OS X a little loosely here... by the way, Jobs only said "OS X" as far as I remember, not "Mac OS X". So probably this means Darwin kernel basically... Everything else is different... Could they allow us to target it with XCode? definetly. When will they? Who knows? (other that Jobs :-) maybe never. If they did though, there would probably be a differen AppKit, so I doubt you would simply recompile your mac apps and make them iPhone apps. But you probably could recycle ALOT of code. That is the beauty of MVC programing right? all out Core Data stuff might work, networking and such... But the GUI would probably be different... perhaps future Interface Builder will allow multiple targets... who knows...

any ways... that is my laundy list of speculations... And yes... I will buy an iPhone ASAP even if I can't program it, it has a slow EDGE data rate, and it's screen get smudged (I can't believe people really care that much). I will be nice to have a new Newto... err iPhone. (not a PDA... that would not be cool, and sytli are for geeks.... but wait.. I'M A GEEK!!)

David — Jan 10, 07 3189

Mike writes:

Like it or not, this (mobile-dependence) is a direction the world appears to be going. Ultimately, we'll look back and wonder why we were ever frightened, or how we ever got along without our future mobile devices. Just like cars, planes, trains, and pc's

[musings follow. if you get upset by this sort of stuff, look away now]

The problem is not the devices themselves -- they are an expected result of convergence. The issue is about Mac development.

Right now, we're looking at an Apple which could effectively be hived off into two divisions: Mac and Gadgets.

For the most part, the iPod is a closed platform, controlled by Apple. To get in to that club, you need money and you need a business case that you can present to Apple. And if Apple decides that they can do better, or more likely, can squeeze out more money, then they have no qualms whatsoever about releasing an official iPod-related, competing product.

OK, that's business, fine.

So we come to the next great gadget of our time, the iPhone. So far, it's looking like another closed platform. Some people are claiming it's a Mac. Look, it's not. No more than an iPod is a Mac. There is every chance that this will be a closed platform where only certified apps from certified developer$ will get to play, probably only through the iTunes Store.

Apple, naturally, would have us believe that what is good for Apple is also good for Mac developers. Some developers will agree: it increases brand exposure, increases overall Mac marketshare, and, presumably, this will lead to increased sales for Mac software and other products.

Really? Does it? But wouldn't creating more, better Macintosh products do that even more effectively?

Wouldn't displaying an actual Mac at Macworld be more effective?

Does the success of such devices increasingly lead to platforms where Apple effectively control development and distribution of acceptable product? How long until Apple once more see their developer base as less of a force that helped them stay in business during the bad years and the OS X transition, and more of a resource that can be harvested?

Apple has been pushing iTS as its chief media provider. (To the point yesterday where it seemed that you could hardly play anything on the AppleTV but iTS purchases!) How many of you have sold your products through it?

How many of you are going to be writing apps for the AppleTV?

The iTablet. Let's pretend it ships this year. Right now, would you say it's more likely that it would be an open product, with an open API that we could ship products for, or is it more likely that it would also be a closed platform with a category in the iTS?

Rob — Jan 10, 07 3190

I don't why they didn't call it the iTalk, it would be much better fit, although they would have had to protect the name years ago -- when they started the project.

Any software or software based device that is HOT will be delivered at a price that is TOO HIGH for the first 6 to 9 months and if the price holds then longer and quantities will be restricted to maintain the price, otherwise the market is allowed to take over after that and its delivered in maximum quantities.

I would not expect Apple to attempt to restrict quantities but demand will do that for them in the first few months.

They not open the platform until after it ships and they can ensure there a no special security problems. Personally I would prefer the OS to able to recognize an iPhone to computer secure WiFi connection that is discrete -- two devices only when loading software.

I would think they should be able to do this but even if they don't have the OS identify specific types links and provide security for that they could still restrict applications and files with code when loading to this type of link and that would go a long way to creating good security.

And so after having shipped the phone for 6 months to a year then they open the platform to developers.

Remember Apple has never made a leap this big before, in the past they started much slower then this.

I think opening the platform is inevitable anyway because all future flash based or solid state computers will be very similar to the iPhone.

Now from a marketing standpoint there is a very good reason to ship computers with the small version of OS X, and that would because if they made them mean and lean then they could low cost solid state computers they have a very high price performance that would largely beat ALL OTHERS -- but they may not call them computers !!!

And then at some point a year or two from now ship the mean and lean version of OS X, for 10 to $50 for any old PC, even give it away. By diluting the market and confusing the PC only buyer with TOO MANY CHOICES Macs can Win !!!

On the other hand won't it be ironic if it turned that PPC is REALLY FAST when the hard-drive is replaced with Flash or RAM, much faster then, and so the low cost solid state machines go back to PPC, at least for a while !

This would only be true if Intel not really shipping the specs they have claimed, and IBM did seem to doing that kind of cheating themselves, but you never how these things will go until you actually do them.

Jon H — Jan 10, 07 3192

Hey, why isn't anyone worried about the iTV being a closed device?

Rob — Jan 10, 07 3193

We don't care for the same reason, we don't care about programing Airports.

Although it would be nice if they had a special place for third party screen savers !

The followning article says its an Intel procesor, the same as the iTV, and the touchscreen is from Germany's Balda.

Rob — Jan 10, 07 3195

In this article Intel says they are not making the chip for the iPhone ...

This one says nVidia/PortalPlayer IS ...

unit — Jan 10, 07 3196

I saw a cnbc interview with Jobs from 2006 where he was talking about the switch to Intel. One thing he mentioned was that they were still planning on using the PowerPC chips for some of their products in their pipeline. So I wouldn't be surprised if he was referring to the iPhone.

Johannes Rexx — Jan 11, 07 3197

Steve jobs basically used the whole keynote to talk about the iPhone and in doing so totally P0wned his arch nemesis Bill Gates in three areas:

(1) The Zune now looks like a clunky little overpriced toy with no future
(2) All of Microsoft's smart phone tech looks like it had a lobotomy
(3) The Windows CE PDA has been thoroughly trumped

Bill may as well pack up his ego and go home and spend the rest of his sorry days give away his blood money. The technological garbage he showed off at CES is like stone knives and fire compared to the magic that Apple has produced. Microsoft has been proven positively to lack any innovation whatsoever.

Life is good.

Joe — Jan 11, 07 3198

The iPhone is not a Mac, as you claim. It runs OS X, not Mac OS X.

rob enderle — Jan 11, 07 3199

>Apple nearly invented MP3 players

I 'nearly' invented the internet.

Nearly is such a relative term.

U fanboi.


Rob — Jan 11, 07 3200

The iPhone was announced unfinished and not as ready a Apple would normally do.

The name was screwed up and the iTunes store is not been integrated yet which makes no sences at all.

It was also hugely preannounced.


On leave of absence but really because the board wants him out, too many mistakes, especially the options thing and the rediculous coverup.

What we are seeing now are rush jobs so Jobs can take credit for things that have been worked on for years but are still not finished.

When the purchase of Sun is announced then Jobs leave will soon after be announced.

At least that is what my GUT tells me.

Ted Wood — Jan 11, 07 3201


You have to be joking, right?!?

Jobs is the saviour of Apple and our computing sanity. Who on Earth would want to get rid of him?

Jim Gardner — Jan 11, 07 3202

Couldn't agree more. However, if I'd paid the bordering on extortionate amount of money it costs to "do" MacWorld, I wouldn't be very happy about there not being any actual Mac announcements in the keynote.

There wasn't so much as an update to iTunes, let alone anything to actually buy, unless you count pre-ordering the ?TV.

Michipu — Jan 11, 07 3203

Well, You're absolutely right. But I do prefer a little society producing the best computers, than a big society prudicing ALSO computer.

TJ — Jan 11, 07 3204

Lots of people who don't have "computers" have phones and iPose, which *have CPUs in them*. The difference is that appliances have relatively fixed software. The iPhone ups the ante by carrying the computer into the appliance arena.

David — Jan 11, 07 3207

This is not unlike when Dell Computers Inc. became simply Dell Inc. after they started to sell flat panel TV's and MP3 players as well as computers and their still selling computers too.

I think this is what Apple is thinking their a lot more now than just a niche computer company, like they have been from 1976 till now (for the most part) their becoming comsumer electronic lifestyle company as well.

Rob — Jan 11, 07 3208

"Jobs is the saviour of Apple and our computing sanity. Who on Earth would want to get rid of him?"

In fact you could say he saved the entire industry by saving them from themselves, their self imposed mediocrity -- and I like to think I may have helped a little too !

But YOU don't have to work with him every day and maybe that is not a problem maybe he just wants a break.

And maybe HE and the board are worried about his dominance becoming so great he can never leave without destroying the ENTIRE COUNTRY.

If he does not begin to share his power soon the dark side will begin to creep in, that has already started with the options thing.

If that was really how it appears, Jobs and friends playing a weird little trick on everyone so that when Apple goes under he will still have billions and live on to build computers another day -- well he should have had more faith !!!

Jobs has become a true to life Captain Kirk, as such they should change the name of the iPhone to myCon !!!

Rob — Jan 11, 07 3209

Oh, I will be REALLY PISSED if they don't eventually open up the iPhone to development.

chaser — Jan 11, 07 3210

stupid apple monopoly with their iTunes bought music and iPod. Also only allowing OS X to run on Apple Hardware, i cant wait until the company fails. the iPhone sucks and so does the Apple TV.

Blain — Jan 11, 07 3212

Okay, who let the trolls in? Rassafrassa... Scott, methinks the anti-spam measure needs updating.

Please enter MVC stands for:

karl — Jan 11, 07 3213

"They thought they were in the railroad business. In reality, they were in the TRANSPORTATION business. When new forms of transportation appeared (car, bus, airplane) these companies ignored them."

Totally wrong. This paraphrase from Harvard Business Journal article was wrong when it came out, and it's wrong now... even though it's very well known.

Turns out when you do some research about the matter, that the railroad industry got screwed when large post-war federal spending programs subsidized the creation of the interstate system and the enhancement of major airports in the USA. They didn't support the railroads as much after the war, and consequently, the railroads suffered.

Rob — Jan 11, 07 3215

I think Apple is about to find out WHY it should LIKE 3rd party programmers and why companies MERGE !!!

Here is ALL the stuff you can get on the iPhone for your current phone !!!

David — Jan 12, 07 3216

Well, it's official. Straight from Jobs himself.

The iPhone is a closed platform, more like the "iPod". It's not a Mac.

He leaves open the possibility of external developers doing something with it, but only under Apple's control. i.e. you sell a product only through iTS (or it gets bundled) and it has to fit with Apple's business plans.

The justification for this is that you don't want to load software on your phone and it "stops working". After all, that's what happens to us every day when we install apps on our Macs, right?

Hold on a minute, didn't Jobs also trumpet OS X as being secure, robust, modern? And now he's telling us that Apple can't afford for an app to bring OS X its knees?

If this was MS that released the ZunePhone, I'm pretty sure a lot of the folks around here would be calling this for what it really is.

neuwalker — Jan 12, 07 3217

Did you remember the songs Steve Jobs played on the iPhone? I think Apple could not shorten his name without the permission auf the Beatles (or the rest of them).
I believe we will see Sgt. Pepper's in the iTunes Store in the next 3 month.

Dan — Jan 13, 07 3224

I love comments that say things like "the computer is dead".

Dead... to who? I know older folks who still run computers with Windows 95. Does this sort of person care about next generation stuff like the iPhone? Most likely, not. The person that cares about the computer dying is the person trying to invent the next big product. But that in no way means that a company can't make any money selling older products, or even just support for older products (so long as people use them).

Nothing "dies". Dell is not going to immediately kill their computer division based on some moron's outrageously-accurate-yet-completely-pointless future prediction. Never going to happen. So why even say such crap as "the computer is dead"? Obviously it isn't- if dell is still making computers.

Maybe people will start making things different then a computer, since computers are less interesting to people then tricked-out cell phones.


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