Could the iPad Mini Bring Back the "iBook" Name?
I put up this post earlier in the day on an Apple blog I run with a couple of friends, and I'm curious to get Apple Core's feedback on it, especially since the idea came from this forum!
Let me be clear: I’m not saying I have any sources anywhere that have suggested this is going to be the case. I haven’t seen it suggested (let alone confirmed) in any major media outlets. I’m just saying it was mentioned to me, and now it makes such perfect sense I can’t help but think it must be true.
I’ve been a skeptic on the whole “Apple’s making a seven inch iPad” thing all year, but now that the Wall Street Journal and others have confirmed it, I’ve had to begin making peace with the idea. I’ve never been impressed with the seven inch form factor. While I haven’t yet used a Nexus 7, which I hear is quite fantastic, I have used a Kindle Fire and a variety of seven inch Samsung Galaxy Tabs, all of which I found totally underwhelming. Nevertheless, I hear that it’s great with the right software.
If that’s true, coupled with the lower price of entry, I can see why Apple might want to play in this space. I have struggled, though, to understand how Apple would name and market such a device. I despise the “iPad mini” name. I really didn’t like the name of the iPod mini when it was a thing, and though I love the current Mac mini – I think it is a perfect expression of Apple’s industrial design ideals – I really hate the name. So what could Apple call its alleged new baby tablet?
In a conversation in the forums the other day, user Boghog made a simple suggestion that blew my mind. Why not call it the iBook? It’s a brand name that Apple obviously already owns, and isn’t currently using for hardware. The iBook Store is a thing, of course, but I see that as a plus, not a distraction. In much the same way that there is the Kindle Store and the Kindle, why not the iBook Store and the iBook? Whereas the 9.7″ iPad has clearly become a productivity tool in addition to its “consumption” functionality, a 7.85″ device would primarily be a consumption-oriented product. The name “iBook” would make an immediate and clear use-case for consumers – no wondering what it could be for, the way many did when the iPad was originally introduced in 2010. It would be easy to market, and it’s been long enough since the “laptop” iBook left the market that there shouldn’t be any residual confusion for consumers. The more I think about this idea, the more sense it makes. In fact, at this point, I’ll be deeply disappointed if Apple doesn’t call it the iBook!
UPDATE: The Conductor has pointed out that iBook.com redirects to the iPad product homepage. Interesting.
UPDATE II: MG Siegler and John Gruber are tossing around the possibility of the "iPad Air" name. Anything's better than iPad mini.