NOTE: This article is also available on Medium.
Originally, Every new apple product would start with ‘i’. It became a special symbol, because everyone knew about the iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and so on. Apple has stated that the ‘i’ stands for Internet, as they were some pioneers of internet-connected devices. But now, just about everything connects to the internet, and these special internet devices don’t stand out as much as they used to.
The last new product that Apple released with the ‘i’ branding was the iPad, in 2010. The Apple Watch could easily have been branded as an iWatch, but so many smart watches are on the market that they likely dismissed that idea. In Mountain Lion, Apple also silently renamed iCal to ‘Calendar’ and iChat to ‘Messages’. They are simply phasing out the lesser-known versions of their ‘i’ product line.
I believe that Apple only continues the iMac, iPod, iPad, and iPhone names because it is a very common and well-known names. I recognise ‘iPod’ much more easily than ‘Apple MP3 Player’. Ditto with the iPhone and iPad.
In conclusion, Apple’s ending of their ‘i’ product line may leave some consumers confused, but their engineering may help prepare their marketing department for the future.