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Steve Jobs gave the 'i' in Apple products a clever secret meaning before he died

Steve Jobs gave the 'i' in Apple products a clever secret meaning before he died

Before his death in 2011, Steve Jobs confirmed what the meaning behind the 'i' is Apple products.

There's a lot of things in life we tend to accept and not think twice about - or what the meaning of them is.

The 'i' in iPhone is one of them.

The meaning behind it has never been common public information - unless you happened to follow the announcements from Steve Jobs back in the 1990s.

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs

'Intelligent' or 'information' would be my first guesses. After all, iPhones are an incredibly smart piece of technology - from hidden settings to life-saving features.

But then again, the 'i' isn't just an iPhone thing. It spreads across a whole range of Apple products - the iMac, iPad, iPod.

So, this begs the question: what does the 'i' mean?

Back in 1998, when the internet wasn't at our fingertips, computers with online access were rare. That's when Steve Jobs - upon the release of the first iMac - confirmed that the 'i' originally stood for Internet.

This makes sense for the iMac. Although, not all Apple products at this time were able to access the internet - the first iPod, for example.

At that same time, however, Jobs explained he had other ideas for what the word 'i' potentially stands for in Apple. The answer lies in not one word, but five.

According to Readers Digest, the 'i' in all Apple products stands for: 'internet, individual, instruct, inform and inspire.'

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs

Having said that, Jobs wasn't particularly fixed on tying these meanings to customers, more so for the Apple employees.

During the same presentation, Jobs emphasised that the 'i' "didn't have an official meaning". It was used more in the referral of personal pronoun and "instruction" for educating Apple employees.

It seems the definitions are more like peek into the company culture and values of Apple, rather than a label for everyday Apple users.

All in all, there is no right answer.

If anything, most of us see the 'i' as nothing more than an iconic, brand label of Apple products. In a similar way that we can easily point out and identify the bitten apple logo. But the decision is up to you to define the 'i' in your Apple product in terms of what it means to you.

That said, what does the 'i' in Apple products mean to you?

Featured Image Credit: David Paul Morris / Justin Sullivan / Getty