Some Apple product names are simple and timeless, like MacBook Air or AirPods, while others are not. I'm looking at you iPhone 14 Pro Max.
If you want to understand how Apple names its products, data visualization researcher Nicholas Kruchten has put together an interesting interactive map showing how Apple mixes and matches various key elements in its product names … ;
Kruchten said he got the idea for the project after reading a biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
I love the way Apple calls things: FireWire, App Nap, iPhone, iPod, EarPod, AirPod, AirPlay, FairPlay, etc. Lots of reuse of words and sounds. Having just finished reading the biography of Steve Jobs, I decided to visualize the various Apple product and feature names as a network to see this reuse in action. I took the names from Apple's public list of trademarks.
There is a mind map version of the static image, but it's easier to understand interactively. . Kruchten recommends viewing this on a Mac, not an iPhone or iPad.
You can scroll to zoom, click and drag to pan, click on nodes to focus.
Nodes are name fragments such as “i”, “phone”, “pro”, “max” called “iPhone Pro Max” Arrow from “i” to “phone” means that the product name or trademark contains “i phone” or similar (e.g. “iPhone”).
Nodes are sized based on how many arrows go in or out and are colored based on how many arrows go out, from dark to blue for a few, purple to yellow for lots.
When you click on a node, it will isolate only those links. For “i” for example we see this:
Sometimes you need to zoom in to see all the labels. Click anywhere else on the screen to return to the full view.
This is partly a trip back in time, back to things like iDisk, iSight and iLife. Have fun here.
What did you vote for the best and worst Apple product names? Let us know in the comments.