One of Steve Jobs' longtime advisors says Apple's iPhone names are confusing customers

Ken Segall is a veteran advertising executive who worked closely with Steve Jobs at Apple for years. But he has written in The Guardian that the modern Apple under the leadership of CEO Tim Cook has created “confusing” products that he finds “bewildering.”

Segall worked on campaigns such as “Think Different,” and also created the name iMac. So he knows what branding worked for Apple after Jobs’ return in 1997.

In his Guardian article, Segall criticises Apple’s policy of “S” upgrades for iPhones. After every major upgrade (the iPhone 6, for example) comes another, more subtle upgrade (like the iPhone 6S.) Segall says this naming policy is an “absurdity” that “has only served to confuse customers, and make it significantly more difficult for marketing to do its job.”

This isn’t the first time that Segall has spoken out about what he sees as flaws in Apple. He previously called Apple’s product names “weak” and “awkward” in a 2013 blog post.

Elsewhere in the Guardian post, Segall mentions Apple Music, the company’s new music streaming service. One of the biggest complaints following Apple Music’s launch last year was that it was difficult to use. The Telegraph called it “clunky, fussy, confusing and flawed,” and BGR described it as “an embarrassing and confusing mess.” Segall joins in the criticism, saying that the product deserved to be attacked, and that he found “parts of it to be bewildering.”

It wasn’t all criticism from Segall, though. He acknowledges that Apple has work to do, but says he has “zero doubt that Apple believes deeply in the power of simplicity.”


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