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People are now realizing what the 'i' in Apple iPhone stands for

Steve Jobs disclosed five precise meanings behind the mysterious "i" back in 1998, and it has five possible meanings.

People are now realizing what the 'i' in Apple iPhone stands for
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Justin Sullivan

Editor's note: This article was originally published on February 1, 2023. It has since been updated.

Have you ever wondered what the "i" in iPhone stands for? If you did, then you're not alone. We all have thought about it at least once in our lives. It's just that people now realize the meaning behind the "i" in "iPhone." It may come as a surprise to a lot of people, given how technologically savvy everyone is. The revelation left many Apple users in a conundrum and some seemed pretty displeased. The "i" has been found across various internet-enabled smart Apple devices such as the iMac, iPod, iPad, and of course, the iPhone. It made us think that the "i" stood for either the internet or intelligence. Notably, the iPhone, which was released in 2007, was Apple's first device with internet access.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 9: Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds up the new iPhone that was introduced at Macworld on January 9, 2007 in San Francisco, California. During the keynote Jobs introduced the new iPhone which will combine a mobile phone, a widescreen iPod with touch controls and a internet communications device with the ability to use email, web browsing, maps and searching. The iPhone will start shipping in the US in June 2007. (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 9: Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds up the new iPhone that was introduced at Macworld on January 9, 2007, in San Francisco, California. During the keynote Jobs introduced the new iPhone which will combine a mobile phone, a widescreen iPod with touch controls, and an internet communications device with the ability to use email, web browsing, maps, and searching. The iPhone will start shipping in the US in June 2007. (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

 

According to Reader's Digest, Steve Jobs disclosed five precise meanings behind the mysterious "i" back in 1998. It represents these words, one of which is surprisingly the 'internet,' others are individual, instruct, inform and inspire. Paul Bischoff, a privacy advocate at Comparitech, explained, "However, while these words were an important part of the presentation, Jobs also said that the 'i' "didn't have an official meaning. He also alluded to it referencing 'i' as a personal pronoun and 'instruction' for education purposes." "So it seems the "i" is open to Interpretation." Pretty interesting isn't it? You can now use this little piece of additional information on your next date to impress your S.O.

Naming your children is quite hard, let alone naming a company. Just like the perplexity behind the "i" in the iPhone, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was also at a crossroads when he had to think of a name for the company. In Brad Stone's book, The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, he sheds light on how the name "Amazon" came into existence. In 1994, Bezos left his well-known job to pursue his vision of creating an "everything store." According to India Today, an excerpt from Stone's book reads, "In the beginning, they knew, they needed a better name. The magical allusions of Cadabra Inc., as Todd Tarbert, Bezos's first lawyer, pointed out after they registered that name with Washington State in July of 1994, were too obscure, and over the phone, people tended to hear the name as Cadaver."​

 



 

 

The following summer, Bezos and MacKenzie Scott, his now ex-wife, brainstormed a bunch of names, such as Awake.com, Browse.com, Bookmall.com, and Aard.com, but none seemed to resonate with them. However, in October of 1994, Bezos, who has a net worth of $124 billion, reports Bloomberg, decided on the name "Amazon." Bezos had "poured through the A section of the dictionary and had an epiphany." He chose to name his company and the largest bookstore in the world "Amazon," which also happens to be the name of the largest river in the world. "He walked into the garage one morning and informed his colleagues of the company's new name, and he registered the new URL on November 1, 1994," Stone wrote in his book.

 

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 18: Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos presents the company's first smartphone, the Fire Phone, on June 18, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. The much-anticipated device is available for pre-order today and is available exclusively with AT&T service. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 18: Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos presents the company's first smartphone, the Fire Phone, on June 18, 2014, in Seattle, Washington. The much-anticipated device is available for pre-order today and is available exclusively with AT&T service. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

 

"This is not only the largest river in the world, it's many times larger than the next biggest river. It blows all other rivers away," Bezos said while announcing the name of his company to Amazon's then employees, said fairly put by Brad Stone. Moreover, since it starts with an "A", it puts Amazon on top of the list. According to CNBC, Bezos's letter to shareholders in 1999 talked of his vision to use his company, Amazon to build “Earth’s most customer-centric company, a place where customers can come to find and discover anything and everything they might want to buy online.”

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