What does "i" in i-Phone or i-pad mean?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The "i" prefix refers to the personalized nature of the devices that Apple strives to connect with its users.  The late founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, suggested with the initial design of the iPod that the initial attraction to it would be "a thousand songs in your pocket."  The prefix of "i" is a quick way to indicate personal possession.  The Apple designers understood that emphasizing the personal connection between technology and user would be critical.  It enables that the user will always view the technology in a more emotionally nurturing manner as opposed to something cold and clinical, detached in its presence.  At the same time, the "i" helps to humanize the advanced look of the device.  When designer Vinnie Chieco was tasked with being able to make the ipod something more appreciated by the larger population and not merely computer fanatics, Chieco understood that the device's forward looking design and futuristic approach could be merged with a personal experience element.  This subjectivity and connection is enhanced with the "i" prefix, making the devices something that represents both technological advancement and personal connection.

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