Why it’s called the iSlate.
I love Steve like a beloved student who I love so much I want to hug, but I think this is the dumbest name for an Apple product since “Katie Cotton.” A lot of you are wondering what Steve is thinking giving such a wonderful product such a stupid name, but I can tell you, because I was in the meeting when they decided on the title: It was Phil Schiller’s fault. What happened was, we’d been throwing out possible names for hours, and nothing seemed to click.
(My suggestion was for either Tablet or iMoss, but both were shot down by Tim Cook, the jealous bastard.)
Schiller kept yelling “iSlate” over and over like a puppy barking at a squirrel, but everyone hated the name. Everyone. Including Steve. But he kept at it, and Steve kept hitting him on the nose with a rolled up newspaper, but he wouldn’t stop. Anyway, we were taking a break in our naming session, and we had one of those gentlemanly-bet moments that happens in fiction but never in real life where we were talking about how huge a success the new tablet will be. I said:
It’s going to be the biggest thing since the iPhone.
It’s going to be bigger, Walt. It’s going to be a hundred times bigger than the iPhone. People will buy one for each hand. They’ll buy two for every room in their house. They’ll buy one for their dogs.
Then I made a comment I’ll regret until the day the new tablet is inevitably replaced by something cooler, and Steve forgets about it:
You know, it probably doesn’t matter what we call the thing.
Immediately, Steve got it. He started saying how he could give it the worst name being suggested, and it would still be more popular than the iPhone. As soon as he said worst name, Schiller resumed yelling “iSlate” over and over like a retarded puppy. Steve started laughing maniacally. Katie Cotton said she didn’t think it would work, that the name was too bad to sell people on, but Steve brushed her concerns away with his hand and also his logic:
Nobody cares about the name, really, Katie. Sure, at first they’ll say it’s stupid, but are they not going to buy five of these things just because they sound slightly douchey saying what it is when people ask? No, of course not. Sure, some people will grumble, and I’m sure some idiots will start up “call it the iTablet” petitions, but they’ll still buy the thing, and their complaints will end the first time they power up, or once they get laid, or something. It’s not a problem.
Steve was so sure of this that he made a bet with Katie:
If this product isn’t more popular than the iPhone, even despite the godawful name Schiller came up with, I’ll give you back your soul. Okay? That’s how confident I am that it’ll succeed. Now let’s go market the fucking future!
And that’s why it’s called the iSlate. For my part in the atrocious name, I can only ask for your forgiveness. I’m so sorry.