That which we call a rose

Posted by steve on Jul 19, 2009 in Hardware |

Apple, for the longest time, suffered from a rather Byzantine naming system for their computers. Take Powerbooks for example — my first was a 1400, which was released after the 5300, but, if I remember correctly, before the 3500. There was precious little logic to these numbers; the only thing that really signified very much was the fourth digit, which indicated a Power PC processor (oh, heady days). With the return of Real Steve Jobs, Apple nomenclature swung the opposite way, with all of Apple’s laptop range subsumed under just two names, Powerbook and iBook, regardless of details.

But possibly the worst naming scheme Apple have devised lately has been that of the iPhone. The original device was simply the iPhone — that was all. It was unique, monolithic, singular. Then, a year later, the second iPhone was announced, and it was, quite illogically, named the iPhone 3G. Those who knew (and cared) about such things knew that this name referred to the network on which the new phones functioned, but nevertheless the name was less than intuitive. Where was the second-generation iPhone? Oh, wait, that would be the 3G.

We dealt with this oddness until this summer, when the third edition of the iPhone was announced. That, you will recall, was the iPhone that followed the 3G, which was the second generation of iPhone. So what was it to be called? Well, the 3G S, of course. Not the 4g, since it was only the third generation of iPhone. And not the 3.5G, even though that was the network the new iPhone theoretically supported, and even though that would be represent a logical consistency with the previous naming idea.

And so we’re back to the old crazinesses of Apple naming. And, by the scariest of coincidences, Steve Jobs seems to be letting go of control of the company again. Can’t wait for my iNewton…

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