During a talk at the University of Arizona's Department of Marketing, Apple's former head of advertising, Ken Segall, let slip about some of the alternative names seriously considered at Cupertino before the launch of the iPhone. They're surprisingly bad.
- "Telepod:" According to Segall... "Telepod"... sounded like a futuristic twist to the word "telephone." The "pod" part of the name also makes sense in context of Apple's then-extraordinarily-popular iPod line of music players.
- "Mobi": This potential name is a play on the word "mobile." The shortened version of "Mobile" seems to be a creative name with a personality, according to Segall.
- "Tripod:" [This] stems from the iPhone being a combination phone + iPod + internet communications device. Indeed, Apple heavily marketed the original iPhone as such.
Apple also apparently considered calling the phone iPad—but clearly kept that to one side for its bigger brother. I think we can all be grateful, though, that the powers-that-be at Apple vetoed the name Telepod. [9to5mac]