Coming soon to a store near you: iPad Lite, iPad Ultra

by CarlD

To recap the overflowing ebuzz: Was there no woman in the room when they came up with this? Or who had shopped for his wife? Or with a sense of humor? Who watched Mad TV?

I may be a little closer to the wavefront in wondering if this intercultural marketing blunder leaks back onto the iPhone [update: in which case xkcd suggests alternatives]:

The iMini

The iMaxi


7 Comments to “Coming soon to a store near you: iPad Lite, iPad Ultra”

  1. “I just hook up my apple to my peach”. Classic.

    My guess is that “iPad” wasn’t their first choice. You know it had to be “i” something. Probably things like iTablet were already the property of people with dollar signs in their eyes.

    Who knows. Maybe they just thought it would blow over quickly.

  2. WTF? I have to say the video above is kinda stupid. Didn’t even get a smile out of me.

    As someone who menstruated for 35 years or so, that whole ipad = menstrual products connection did not occur to me, but I suppose I’m in the minority.

  3. I’m still waiting for Bill Gates to name an operating system iWin.

  4. I suspect, Narya, that you are in the majority. I had to point out the possible alternative reading to my wife.

  5. I agree. I didn’t register the association until I read about it on the web the day after the unveiling, and I seriously doubt I would have come up with it myself. My wife also hadn’t thought of it.

  6. Asher, I’m glad I got to read the other bit before you got rid of it. It completely amused me. If you’d be willing to email it to me, I’d love to share it w/ my friend, but I completely understand if you’d rather deep-six it.

    May I add that, eventually, I suspect I will be purchasing an iPad. I’m generally not an early adopter, because I prefer to wait for some bugs to be gone and the price to be lower, plus I have to come up with a reason other than “wow, that’s cool.” So my iTouch will have to keep me happy for the meanwhile.

  7. It’s true that these are high-context encodings that may easily be missed or marginalized in low-context environments, ranging to ‘postmodern’ ones where context saturates and the signifiers float freely. Of course in such environments every reading is both possible and optional.

    I think a lot of the trouble comes when borders are crossed between high and low context environments, so that meanings which are floating and manipulable in one context are firmly planted in the other. One of my favorites is the one where “Got Milk?” was translated directly into Spanish as “Tienes Leche?” and plastered on billboards all over Mexico; which I am told would not be a problem in low-context formal Spanish, but in high-context Mexican vernacular Spanish, Tienes leche? pretty firmly means Are you lactating?

    In contrast, I can be privately amused that my Japanese friends named my tires “Falkens.” They’re great Falken tires, everybody should try a set of these awesome Falken tires. (Another Asian brand I like is Kumhos; really must mix a set some day so I can equip my car with Falken Kumhos, every young man’s dream.) But there’s no sense blaming the marketers for this one, because the same trick of pronunciation is available for Falken and Falcon, which was presumably the intended referent and an entirely appropriate one likely to ‘capture’ most monosemiotic consumers. And the ones who get the alternate Falken reference are just as likely to enjoy it as I did and shop accordingly.

    Of course, who knows how this all works better than the savvy hip dudes at Apple. So no doubt they did anticipate this optional polysemiotic reading of the iPad moniker, and either determined that they could afford to ride it out or even that it would give their product launch a viral push (I certainly wasn’t going to post on the iPad otherwise). I suppose this is all intercultural marketing 101, John?

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