You Should Never Pluralize Apple Product Names, Says Apple SVP Phil Schiller


If you have been pluralizing Apple product names, well, you have been doing it wrong all along, suggests Phil Schiller, Apple’s global head of marketing. You should never pluralize Apple product names, so if you have two iPads you don’t mention the name of your precious tablets in the plural, but in the singular, like this: iPad devices. Or, in the case of the iPad Pro, you should say: iPad Pro devices instead of iPad Pros (via Business Insider).

In a series of tweet-bombs he dropped yesterday, Schiller explains that Apple product names work for both singular and plural forms, without adding the extra word such as “devices” or “computers”. This means, the plural of the iPhone is . . . iPhone.

Schiller goes on and says: “Words can be both singular and plural, such as deer and clothes”. So, the proper way to boast about your three Macs is to say that “I have 3 Macintosh” or “I have 3 Macintosh computers”. Forget about “Macs”. That may not be academically correct.

Anyways, Apple seems to be less strict with its own marketing material, which apparently counterbalances Schiller’s tweets. Some of the press releases published by Apple mention iPhones instead of iPhone phones, and iPads instead of iPad devices.

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  • Gary Bowen

    I also understand Apple are pretty strict on not putting “the” before their product names. E.g. The iPhone is great device, versus, iPhone is a great device.

    They have a whole marketing brochure on it with guidelines, but I’d say more than 50% of companies either discussing it or advertising it, don’t adhere to their guidelines.

  • Dehop

    I’m under no obligation to follow their internal marketing guidelines. Follow proper nouns like lowercase “i” before capital Phone and Pad, not a problem, but forget adding superfluous word descriptions of what they are, especially if they can’t even adhere to their own guidelines in in their own marketing.

    It’s like seeing Quebec forcing “Café” in front of the name “Starbucks”. Pointless waste of space.

    Only time I’ll use “devices” is when I’m referring to the platform they’re running, e.g. “iOS devices” or “iDevices” to cover iPhones, iPads and iPod touches

  • Gary Bowen

    In addition to the press releases, Phil’s own Twitter pluralizes iPad:

  • Harold Mitchell

    Pompous ass

  • KS

    Looks like he has no idea what he’s saying.

  • Brad Fortin

    I prefer to stick with the one that bothers the most people: iPads Pro, iPhones SE, etc.

  • Dominic Buteau

    It’s funny you say that cause Québec is honestly so anal about that ; I don’t regret saying that as a Québécois background individual. But honestly it’s never obliged the other way around. You never see L’Oréal switched to « The Oréal » or whatnot. European countries don’t adhere to such a « preserve the language » perspective as much as Québec does ; for god’s sake Parisians will say « Smartphone » but for some reason we had to literally translate it to Téléphone intelligent « Intelligent telephone. » I mean honestly, I don’t lose my French when I go to a place that is not locally operated.