Despite Apple now being on its ninth-generation Apple Watch, hundreds of thousands of people STILL think it is called iWatch


Apple is now nine-generations deep with Apple Watch. Prior to its introduction, many rightly assumed Apple’s first wearable might be called iWatch.

The logic made sense too: Apple already had the iPhone, iPad, and iPod, so carrying on this tradition with its first smartwatch the brand name “iWatch” kinda made sense.

But nowadays? When there’s been nine series of Apple Watch? You’d think everyone would have got the memo. But according to Ahrefs search data, around 300,000 people STILL search on Google for iWatch every month.

Loads of People STILL Think Apple Watch is Called “iWatch”Pin

Crazy, right? Well, let’s set the record straight once and for and unpack the actually very interesting story of why the Apple Watch is NOT called the iWatch.

Why The Apple Watch Isn’t Called The iWatch

How Steve Jobs Nearly Ruined The iPhonePin

The letter “I” has always had a special significance for Apple, particularly when it was under the rule of Steve Jobs. Jobs’ first major success at the company, following his return, was the iMac and the iPod.

iMac put Jobs’ Apple back on the map, and the iPod turned it into a mega-company, growing it from a down-and-out bit player to one of the most profitable companies in the world.

The iPod also completely changed the music industry and, again, through the vision of Jobs, became the catalyst for the iPhone. And the iPhone was then the jumping board to the iPad.

So, why the heck isn’t the Apple Watch called the iWatch? As usual, it all comes down to trademarks. Apple basically couldn’t secure the trademark for iWatch, so it had to go with Apple Watch instead.

That’s the short version. The longer version, however, is far more nuanced and interesting and is, like any good drama, an international affair with plenty of key players…

Here’s a brief overview of how the situation played out in bullet points:

  • 🍎 Apple initially considered the name “iWatch” to maintain consistency with its other products like iPhone, iPod, and iPad.
  • ⏱️ Swatch, a Swiss watchmaker, raised objections against Apple’s attempt to trademark the name “iWatch” in the U.K.
  • 🌍 Trademark issues prevented Apple from naming its smartwatch “iWatch” in various countries including the U.S., UK, Switzerland, and China.
  • 💼 OMG Electronics, a California-based company, attempted to trademark the iWatch name in 2012 before Apple could.
  • 🇨🇳 In China, nine companies have held the iWatch trademark with some still being valid.

Apple and Swatch Have A Long-Running Beef

Loads of People STILL Think Apple Watch is Called “iWatch”Pin

Swatch is a Swiss watch maker and it has had a long-running beef with Apple which saw the two companies lock horns in UK courts.

Apple tried to snag the ‘iWatch’ trademark in the U.K. But Swiss watch giant, Swatch, wasn’t having it.

Why?

They already had ‘iSwatch’ and ‘Swatch’ in their lineup. Their argument: consumers would mix them up. And the U.K.’s Intellectual Property Office agreed in 2014.

They saw too much overlap between ‘iWatch’ and typical tech products. Think computer hardware, radios, and even cameras. So, Apple could only use ‘iWatch’ for things like software and security devices in the U.K.

But Apple pushed back, taking the fight to the High Court. There, John Baldwin QC had a different take. His angle: Just because it ticks doesn’t mean it’s a watch. Apple won the appeal.

But plot twist: when Apple’s smartwatch dropped in 2015, it wasn’t the ‘iWatch’. It was the ‘Apple Watch’.

And the reason? Going back to the points discussed earlier, the term “iWatch” is trademarked by nine different companies in China and that, for obvious reasons, would create problems when it came time to launch there. And because China is such a big market, Apple couldn’t afford any mistakes.

Therefore, switching the brand name from iWatch to Apple Watch made the most sense from a legal perspective.

And that is why the Apple Watch is called the Apple Watch, not iWatch.

Apple Watch Stuffs…

Not joined the Apple Watch party yet? If you’re interesting in potentially picking one up soon, make sure you get au fait with all the latest Apple Watch happenings below: 

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