Apple MacMan: Steve Jobs' name for the iMac

Imagine a world without the lower case "i"

The "home computer that was going to save Apple" would have been MacMan, not iMac, if Steve Jobs had his way, says adman Ken Segall.

In his book Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drove Apple's Success, Ken Segal tells of the unveiling of the iMac in the spring of 1998 (retold here in Co.DESIGN). Luckily, Jobs offered the advertising and marketing team a chance to come up with a better name than MacMan, perhaps an echo of Sony's WalkMan name philosophy.

Stories about Jobs fall mostly into the "he got his way because he was a genius," mode, but not this time. During a pitch of five names a week later, iMac was presented last. Jobs hated them all. Another week, another pitch, still including iMac. "Well, I don't hate it this week," he said. After asking around and having the name stenciled on a unit, Jobs went with iMac. And the rest, as you know...

More Jobs genius

iMac and every other "i" name is brilliant. It encompasses the internet meme, the personal computer/narcissism meme "i" and tells you which product you are dealing with-- "Mac," "Pad," et cetera.

SmokingHeartDesigns on

oh yeah... iMac... ? much better than MacMan... way better

camrynrm on

I totally get that MacMan is a dumb, bad name (too reminscent of Sony's lines and of Pac-Man). What I don't get is why anyone thinks iMac - or anything else in the iAppleproduct line - is a good name. They're not. They're dumb names, too.

thatbob on

Yeah, but, …

Interesting, shame about the mouse

Brian Whittle on

let's not get into the just-awful mouse design... why this computer was touted as revolutionary I'll never know.

signsofrain on

That was the era when the "i" something or another was inline with the "x" something or another, remember

anon y mouse on

All fun and games

Who wouldn't want a PodMan or PadMan? Where's your data? Oh, it's in the CloudMan! Where'd you get that song? TunesMan? The world would've been a better place with the MacMan. Imagine, a world where stoners aren't distinguishable from the general public!

Zach (inmotted) on

at Apple when the prototypes were first being made, there used to be a real "Mac Man" that would pop up on the corner of your screen and wink and then leave once again. This mysterious "man" would jump out at you when you least expect it and was even featured in the internal parts.

Bailey Stein on

atleast they didn't steal the name like they did i-phone from cisco, who was selling i-phones 7 years before them.

Stonekold on

If the name had stuck, would the iPhone now be PhoneMan?

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