You’re Saying it Wrong: How Apple Wants You to Use its Product Names

A lot of pixels were spilled recently about Phil Schiller’s comments that Apple products shouldn’t be used with an “s” for plurals. But that’s not all Apple thinks we should do when talking about their products. If you notice the way Apple executives speak in keynotes, they use the product names as though they were proper nouns. They don’t say “the iPhone is magical,” they say “iPhone is magical.”

Apple’s style guide, last updated in 2013, makes this very clear.

iPhone In general references, don’t use an article with iPhone. When referring to the user’s particular iPhone, it’s OK to use your. The capacity can be listed before or after the name.

iPhone supports the most popular email standards–IMAP and POP3.
If you experience problems with your iPhone…
iPhone 5 (16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB) features a 4-inch Retina display. The 16 GB iPhone 5 features an 8-megapixel camera.

iPad In general references, don’t use an article with iPad. When referring to the user’s particular iPad, it’s OK to use your.

iPod In general references, don’t use an article with iPod. When referring to the user’s particular iPod, it’s OK to use your.

However:

Mac is usually preceded by an article or pronoun in text.

MacBook The names of MacBook models can be used with or without an article.

They’re not very consistent, and, remember, this is their internal style guide. I’ve never not used an article before a product name when common usage suggests that it is correct. And I’ll pluralize every Apple product name when there are more than one. Because, seriously, “two Apple Watch devices?” Meh.

4 thoughts on “You’re Saying it Wrong: How Apple Wants You to Use its Product Names

  1. As I recall, eBay also has a style guide which states the e should always be lower case, and the b upper case, even if it’s the first word in a sentence. Yet eBay’s logo is all lowercase.

  2. As I recall, eBay also has a style guide which states the e should always be lower case, and the b upper case, even if it’s the first word in a sentence. Yet eBay’s logo is all lowercase.

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