“Though I’ve had issues with iPhone naming for years, I’ve always assumed there was an underlying strategy, enigmatic as it might be,” Ken Segall blogs eponymously. “Apparently I was giving Apple too much credit.”

“When Phil Schiller sat down with Engadget recently, he casually confessed that the S and the R have no real meaning,” Segall writes. “They’re just letters.”

“Steve Jobs did the big things well, but as we know, he also did a lot of smaller things well. One of which was his ability to attach simple, memorable names to breakthrough products,” Segall writes. “After all the work that went into creating Apple’s objects of lust, he wasn’t about to muck them up with confusing names. He cracked the whip on the name-crafters as heartily as he did the designers and engineers.”

“It’s been disappointing to see Apple struggle with iPhone naming for so many years. With XS, XS Max and XR, we now have a family of iPhone names Gil Amelio would be proud of,” Segall writes. “After admitting that the letters have no meaning, he shared what they mean to him personally. ‘I love cars and things that go fast, and R and S are both letters used to denote sports cars that are really extra special.’ Phil’s rationale gets even sillier when you remember how he explained the S in the very first S-named iPhone (iPhone 3GS). ‘The S simply stands for speed, because this is the most powerful, fastest iPhone we’ve ever made.’ Apparently, Phil wasn’t thinking sports cars back then. One could argue he wasn’t thinking, period.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Nearly every single time we’ve criticized Apple, it is due to lack of attention to detail.

With Steve gone, it’s obvious that attention to detail has gone by the wayside in many areas.

Apple brass, from the top down: The way to truly honor Steve Jobs is to agonize over every little detail. If you cannot manage to do that satisfactorily, go pound sand.

Some (less fastidious people) night say about iPhone naming, “Who cares?” For that Segal offers an answer, “If that’s what you think, you don’t truly understand Apple. It became the first trillion-dollar company because it had been investing in its future for 20 years. For Steve Jobs, it was never all about today. He built a rich ecosystem and paid attention to details other companies rarely do — including product naming.”

As regular readers know, we’ve written quite a bit about this very subject:

Don’t say it, but you know critics (and maybe even some X, Xs, and Xs Max owners) are thinking, “Oh, the XR is that iPhone with the [R worded] display.” More brilliant naming on Apple’s part. Lead everyone straight toward the most damaging adjective possible..

As per iPhone naming, either Phil Schiller, SVP of the world’s most valuable company and a marketing master in most other matters, is one of the world’s most awful, most confused product-namers ever; the naming is due to too many Cooks in the kitchen (smirk); or Phil’s just fscking with us. With names like “Xs,” “Xs Max,” and “XR,” we lean toward the latter explanation…

We remain wholly unconvinced that Tim Cook’s Apple holds attention to detail in the same esteem as Steve Jobs’ Apple once did.MacDailyNews, September 26, 2018

“S” year iPhones were not “slight upgrades,” but that horrid mischaracterization is exactly why we advised Apple to drop the the stupid “S of Death” naming scheme many years ago.MacDailyNews, September 13, 2017

Apple, enough with the stupid iPhone ‘S’ naming already.

iPhone “S” years usher in hugely significant features, such as oleophobic displays, significant GPU improvements, world phone capability, Siri personal assistant, video stabilization, panorama photos, 64-bit processors, TD-LTE support, Touch ID, and 3D Touch, among other improvements and additions. Each year’s iPhone deserves its own number. By not doing so, Apple is shooting itself in the foot; handicapping iPhones with an “S” every other year. Why Tim Cook or Phil Schiller haven’t put an end to this stupid – yes, stupid – “S” naming is inexplicable. Why don’t you just name it “iPhone No Big Deal This Year,” Tim and Phil?

Here’s what you say onstage and in the press release when there’s no “iPhone 7s” and you jump directly from iPhone 7 to iPhone 8: “The improvements are such that the new iPhone deserves its own number.” Period. Done. Mission accomplished. It’s your naming convention, Apple, and you can correct your stupid mistake at any time. — MacDailyNews, September 16, 2015

It’s as if Apple is naming iPhone models solely for their own internal inventory purposes, just so they can keep track of which model is which, with no regard for how the iPhones are perceived by the rest of the world – the media, the customers, etc. – outside One Infinite Loop.

The “S” doesn’t stand for “Speed,” it stands for “Stupid.” Yes, we know it’s the same case design; we know the “S” version is the one you make the big margins on; we get it. Call it the “S” internally if you must, but don’t be so engineer-ish that you insist on calling it that on the box, too!

It’s not about sales figures or the model’s success (as long as “iPhone” is in the name, it will be a success), it’s about setting a tone. In this case, with the “S,” Apple sets a tone that they are just making an incremental update… Why gift the naysayers with the opportunity, Apple? MacDailyNews Take, April 5, 2013

There are plenty of numbers in the universe. Infinite, actually. Don’t worry, Apple, you won’t run out.MacDailyNews, October 4, 2011

Phil Schiller talks iPhone Xr, Apple product naming, and much more – October 22, 2018
Apple’s inexplicably awful iPhone naming schemes – September 26, 2018