Leader: Time for Apple to change its name?

Go on...

Go on...

Given all the changes in Cupertino these past few years, this publication suggests the Mac Maker consider a new moniker.

We're not talking about a whole new identity, as was so common during the dot-com boom - no makeover à la Andersen Consulting-to-Accenture.

Just a simple tweak: remove 'Computer'.

Dell did it earlier this year. As the company expands its focus from just desktops and laptops to printers, servers, storage and services, the board thought 'Dell Computer' was not accurate. So now it's just Dell.

The arguments for Apple becoming 'just Apple' fall along the same lines. Sure, it still makes computers - lovely, sleek, memorable-looking machines. But more and more its image and strategy are tied to its stylish retail stores, popular iPod digital music players, iTunes Music Store, wireless routers, software apps and operating system.

As Apple freely admits, it's the iPods and iTunes that have buoyed its financial results of late. Apple has sold six million iPods since the music player launched in 2001, more than two million of them in the last quarter alone. And the Apple music players hold a far larger share of their market than any of its computers do of theirs.

Apple is a cool kid. Think about it - Steve's black turtlenecks, deals with U2 and those instantly recognisable white headphones.

Yet it's stuck with a geeky old '80s name.

The time is ripe for a change - what with Apple signing up new customers faster than ever before, most of whom (let's be honest) aren't likely to have bought Cupertino's computers before and are even more unlikely to have heard of Apple in its double-barrelled incarnation.

More than any one technology company, Apple has created an ethos, a way of being - a religion to many, really - whereby you can do all your digital tasks from start to finish with Apple products. It's a lifestyle. It's not about some hunk of hardware sitting on your desk.

And who calls it Apple Computer anyway?

This publication sure doesn't.

Try it: 'Apple'.

It's got our vote.