Former Apple ad man says iPhone could have been called the ‘Telepod’

Former Apple ad man and creator of the famous ‘Think Different’ campaign Ken Segall has been garnering a lot of headlines in the Cupertino blogosphere lately. Last week, he published a blog post on why Samsung’s anti-Apple marketing has been so effective.

And this week he was spotted at an event for the University of Arizona’s Marketing Department, again talking about his former employer. Among other tidbits, Segall divulged that Apple considered some silly names for its smartphone before calling it iPhone…

Here’s a clip of Segall’s presentation, where he talks about the different iPhone names, courtesy of 9to5Mac:

Can you believe it? Apple actually considered naming its revolutionary handset the ‘Telepod,’ or the ‘Mobi,’ or [wow, this one is really bad] the ‘Tripod?’ Even the fact that it thought about naming it the ‘iPad’ is strange because then, what would it have called its tablet?

Apparently Telepod made the final cut because it sounded like a futuristic take on the word ‘telephone.’ Mobi made the list because it “had personality.” And Tripod, as bad as it was, represented the phone’s 3 capabilities: ‘iPod+phone+internet communications device.’

Of course, Apple would go on to call it the iPhone. And Steve Jobs would eventually hoist up the smartphone in front of a lively Macworld audience and announce it to the world. “These are not three separate devices. This is one device. And we are calling it iPhone.”

At this point, it’s hard to imagine filling in that last blank with any other name. What do you think?