I would just like to know: Do we use the definite article (the) before specific names of products like iPhone and iPod? If yes, is there any specific rule as to when and when not to use the article "the" before such names?

Thank you!


2 Answers 2


First, I'd like to offer some light reading on the subject.

iPhones, iPods, and any other product name on its own does not necessitate that one uses the definite article. The rules regarding product names are the same as for other countable nouns.


Give me the iPod.

I'm requesting a specific iPod that, it's suggested, you and I are both familiar with.

Give me an iPod.

I'm requesting that you give me one iPod. It doesn't matter which iPod.

Where is the car?

I'm asking where a particular car is. Again, it's assumed you know which car I'm referring to.

Where is a car?

I'm asking where any car is. If you replace 'car' with 'Mercedes', the meaning doesn't change. Product names aren't special in this regard.

  • Thank you for shedding some light on this matter, Coty! I was actually thinking if we could label iPhone as a noncount noun since it refers to a general category of iPhone models. Thanks so much! The information you shared is so much appreciated. Jan 20, 2015 at 4:01

This is basically a question about whether something is countable or not.

iPhones (and iPads) are countable things. As such, they take articles, such as an and the. Windows 7 is not countable, notwithstanding the fact that you can buy one or two or an unlimited number of licenses to run the amorphous software.

This computer comes with Windows 7 software.

There are times when otherwise uncountable items also take an article (when they have been reduced to an effectively countable thing).

Do you have the Windows 7 software (disks/version/files) that came with the computer?

In these cases, the uncountable stuff is a particular set or version that is likely to be understood by the listener.

Uncle Ben's rice is delicious.

The Uncle Ben's rice on the shelf is out of date.

  • Can we not treat iPhone (and iPad) as an uncountable noun since this refers to a general set of items with quite similar features? For example, there are several models under iPhone (iPhone 4s, 5s, 6, etc.). Jan 20, 2015 at 5:09

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