Saturday, 31 May 2008
With recent changes in 10.5.3 making a rebrand for .Mac all but certain, Mac Prediction turns its attention to what that rebrand might entail.
With the anticipated addition to the .Mac package of iPhone consumer push services, Apple’s 2006 registration of the “Mobile Me” trademark is widely suspected to indicate its new name. Of course, it’s not the first time that Apple has rebranded the service - it renamed it from iTools in 2002. Ironically, iTools would have been a more appropriate name, and had they not changed it back then, they probably wouldn’t need to change it again now. It seems that even Apple weren’t anticipating the phenomenal success of its forthcoming mobile business back in 2002.
Whilst “Mobile Me” may initially sound a bit of a clumsy name, so did MacBook Air to many when they first heard it, but the initial scathing remarks from some Apple fans have mellowed over time. With a liberal dose of Apple-gloss, people will get used to Mobile Me as well. On the positive side, Mobile Me gives .Mac a much clearer mission statement - it becomes a package of Internet services to keep you in touch with your digital lifestyle, wherever you go. At home on your Mac, at work on your PC, and on-the-move with your iPhone.
Those three contexts - home, work and on-the-move - bring to mind a recent sneaky change that Apple introduced in their 10.5.1 update. Whilst historically (and somewhat counter-intuitively) shared resources in Mac OS X featured a .Mac globe icon, this changed without explanation in the 10.5.1 release to a “paper dolls” icon of three men holding hands. Whilst this subtle change could simply have been an intelligent enhancement to prevent confusion between file services and .Mac services, in retrospect, it was perhaps indicative of the forthcoming Mobile Me rebrand. In time-honored style, we’ve knocked together a mockup to see how that might look.