Names are tricky. Unless you use a random password generator to come up with your company’s identity, you’re likely going to end up using a name someone else already has. And that’s exactly what Apple seems to have done by accident with its new HealthKit service for iOS 8: accidentally pinch the name from an Aussie company.
Lachlan Wheeler, CEO of Australian health software company HealthKit, woke up early during Apple’s annual WWDC keynote yesterday and read emails wondering if the company had been acquired by Apple, or whether it had just used the name not knowing it was already in use Down Under.
“I woke up at 4:30 am and turned to my Apple iPhone to check my emails. Someone had emailed me to ask whether Apple stomped all over your name or did we do a secret deal with them. Huh?! I got up and turned on my computer and checked our web stats, and discovered we had lots of people on the HealthKit site. A good thing, you’d think. No, not really. Apple liked our HealthKit idea so much that they have used our name and launched a new product called HealthKit. HealthKit is already in use, by us! Even the way they write it is the same as us,” Wheeler wrote on the HealthKit blog, adding that he’s disappointed with Cupertino.
“I’m flattered that they like our name so much and that it’s a ringing endorsement for our market opportunity (which we already knew). However, as an Apple fan, I feel let down. They didn’t feel that they had to do a quick domain search – it would have taken 5 seconds to type www.healthkit.com into their browser and discover us. Would it have made any difference to them? Are they so big that they are above doing an ordinary Google search?”
HealthKit has gone all out on Twitter, writing to Tim Cook to ask him if he was aware of the name in the first place.
— HealthKit (@HealthKit) June 3, 2014
We’ve reached out to Apple for comment, but we can’t imagine that the multi-billion dollar company is going to change the name of its new flagship health software just because a small Australian health company asked them to.