Mesh Without Wires

January 27, 2010

Apple iPad Becomes iTampon, or When Product Names Are “Unfortunate”

Filed under: Branding — kseniacoffman @ 12:58 pm

Twittersphere was abuzz this morning around the announcement of the new Apple tablet. But the mood quickly soured when it became clear that the product was not revolutionary: “a giant iTouch.”  It also  appears that Apple did not focus group the tablet’s name with any women – because the immediate association for the 50% of the target market (i.e. “women”) is with “that time of the month.” The few women I saw commenting on the name were unanimous in finding it ‘hilarious.’ Even more embarrassing to Apple is that iTampon is trending at #3 on Twitter as of 12:30 PM | update: #2 as of 1 PM. (Twitter’s explanation of the trending topic is sympathetic to Apple’s plights and quite PC: “People are making a joke due to unfortunate word associations in the name of Apple’s new tablet, the iPad (Jan. 27).”)

Apple iTampon Trending on Twitter

Apple iTampon Trending on Twitter

I have to admit that I’m not totally in love with Firetide’s product names – the company started with the “hot upstart” image, so we have “HotPort” (wireless mesh node); “HotPoint” (Wi-Fi access point); and “HotClient” (customer premise equipment). So what? We are a small company and nobody really knows us by those names anyway, it’s mostly “Firetide” that we are promoting.

Product naming is indeed hard: the good names have already been taken, it takes months to arrive at a decision, you spend countless hours and no one can agree on anything. But Apple – with the best resources at their disposal, amazing creativity, and Steve Jobs? How could they have failed at this? Or do Apple execs simply need diversity training?

PS – What was so wrong with iSlate that Apple had to pick iPad?

PPS – Is this a gender issue? Did men get the same reaction to the name? Please comment!

See also:

Women mostly not impressed by iPad name

The newly released iTampon – sorry, I mean the iPad – from Apple


  1. I think it’s quite clear that Apple stumbled mightily in naming its eBook reader the iPad.

    As I wrote in iPad Name Equals Apple PR Blunder, the Cupertino-based company has egg on its face with this mistake.

    In fact, as ElizabethB commented on my post, “…only iPeriod would have been worse.”

    Bottom line? A major UGH for Apple!

    Dave Politis

    c/o Politis Communications
    “Maximizing corporate value
    thru strategic communications” Email Website Blog
    @dpolitis: Twitter Account

    Comment by David Politis — January 27, 2010 @ 5:12 pm | Reply

  2. A little off-topic – my recollection of the choice of the Hot* names originally came from our original intent to do metro wireless (thank God that idea wasn’t too heavily invested in) and provide the backhaul equipment for “hotspots”.

    But you’re right, even in that context it’s kind of lame.

    Comment by spoggle — January 28, 2010 @ 12:17 am | Reply

  3. I was traveling yesterday when the iPad name was revealed. When I first read it, I thought it was a joke and not the real name :-). So, iSlate would have been better? Maybe iL and when you download an app to the iL what do you get? iCool is probably taken. What were they thinking, I guess we will never know. @CASUDI

    Comment by CASUDI — January 28, 2010 @ 1:53 pm | Reply

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