Like a lot of geeks and a lot of people in journalism, I paid close attention to the weeks of hype and rumors, and then the official announcement yesterday, of Apple’s potentially “game-changing” new tablet computer, the iPad. For weeks, the tech media have passed along rumor after rumor about the device and its features, but the most vexing of all rumors was the name. Blogs tracked down trademark filings and obscure documents and the main contenders for the name were “iSlate” and “iTablet.” At the last minute, “iPad” was proposed.
And during Apple’s hour-and-a-half media event unveiling the gadget, Steve Jobs immediately announced it would indeed be called the “iPad.”
Then I immediately thought, “Wow, I wonder how the Japanese are going to deal with this name?”
The iPod has been long-established in Japan as the premiere digital music player, as it is all over the world. I saw “i-pahd-do” everywhere in Tokyo, in shop windows and being used by music fans, with those iconic but crappy white earbuds.
Now comes the iPad. And I predict there will be some major consumer confusion stirred up in Japan. Continue reading