Apple announced its new line of products this month. The phone, the watch, and Apple Pay products were no surprises as the news had already been reported by the dozens of columnists, bloggers, and other commentators who make their livings by watching Apple.

I was surprised, though, to notice that Apple is beginning to drop the “i” from its product line. I fully expected the watch to be called iWatch and the electronic payment system to be called iPay. They are called Apple Watch and Apple Pay.

This morning I noticed that iPhoto was being discontinued, and we will now use Photos to manage our pictures on our iPads and iPhones.

But it makes me wonder whether the “i” will be dropped altogether. And does this mean that there is a replacement for iPad and iPhone with completely new branding?

Apple has created unbelievably strong branding around just one letter of the alphabet. The decision to drop this must have been a multi-billion dollar one. But I cannot understand why?

What are your thoughts about this?