Um, Apple — About That 'iPad' Name

Apple's chosen name for its new tablet device--iPad--is drawing sneers and jeers from the blogosphere, mostly from female pundits. Is this a Venus vs. Mars issue? Perhaps in the male mind, "iPad" conjures up images of a sleek, slate-like device. Women, however, may focus on feminine hygiene products.

"Did Apple really check whether women would like the idea of a maxi-pad?" writes blogger Ann Althouse, who suggests that Steve Jobs' marketing gurus should've consulted women a bit more. "Anyway, for our light days, we have iPhones. For our heavy days, we have the iPad? The iMaxiPad? Come on, guys!

Seattle Post-Intelligencer writer Mónica Guzmán also wonders what Apple was thinking: "Whether we make this part of the conversation surrounding Apple's highly anticipated tablet device or ignore it for the sake of decency, the word 'pad' has a meaning that is about as far removed from computing as a Band-Aid is from a television set.

"But how many times do you say 'Hand me that pad' and not, you know, blush a little?" Guzmán asks rhetorically.

Interestingly, the "iPad" jokes began before today's product launch. "Am I the only one who thinks the iPad sounds like a new feminine hygiene tech product?" asked one reader last week on Neowin.net, a tech news site.

iTampon on Twitter

A mere two hours after Jobs wrapped up his iPad demo, the term "iTampon" was trending higher than "Apple's iPad," on Twitter. The jokes were, uh, flowing.

User "britpixie" tweeted: "gotta love that iTampon is trending higher than iPad on twitter right now. Something tells me, they picked the wrong name?"

"MaestroMasadeJr" added: "iPad will forever be known as the iTampon ...oh dear I wonder which unfortunate ad agency advised Apple on the 'iPad' name..."

MadTV Skit

I'm guessing that Apple didn't view this hilarious Mad TV skit from 2007, in which Apple develops a high-tech feminine hygiene product. Yep, the iPad:

Will the name "iPad" ruin the tablet's chances of success? It's unlikely. Once the jokes die down, consumers will focus on the tablet's capabilities and price, although the iTampon quips may never go away entirely.

What's interesting here is how Apple, usually a master of marketing, seems to have stumbled badly with the tablet's name. Did the Apple dudes seek the advice of women before choosing "iPad"?

Yes, there's room for a MaxiPad joke here, but I'll let you add it below.

Contact Jeff Bertolucci via Twitter (@jbertolucci ) or at jbertolucci.blogspot.com.

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