Apple may not call next phone ‘iPhone 5S’

“Last year, there was a lot of debate about whether the iPhone 5 (the sixth iPhone at the time) would be called the iPhone 5 or the iPhone 6,” John Brownlee reports for Cult of Mac, “and the same happened the year before as people bickered about whether Apple should call the iPhone 4S the iPhone 5.”

“Now, some slim evidence is pointing towards the notion that Apple[‘s]… next iPhone might be called the iPhone 6,” Brownlee reports. “There’s not a lot to go on here, but Vodafone UK’s stores are listing a ‘4G iPhone 6’ in their system. The shot was taken by a Vodafone employee.”

Brownlee writes, “My guess, though, is that Apple won’t call the next iPhone the iPhone 5S or the iPhone 6. Evidence is increasingly pointing to Apple launching an entirely new ‘budget’ iPhone this year to court mid-range customers. If that happens, the iPhone — for the first time! — will become a family of devices…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, this it true.

As we wrote back in April:

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!

Before the iPhone 4S, everyone was waiting for the “iPhone 5.” When the 4S debuted, disappointment reigned. All because of the name. Nearly everything else about the phone was an improvement or a new addition (Siri).

“You either leak ‘no iPhone 5’ to a credible outlet in order to tamp down anticipation beforehand or you name the damn thing ‘iPhone 5,’ even if you don’t think it worthy, and be done with it. The former is far preferrable to the latter for integrity’s sake, but doing neither signals a worrying degree of tone deafness. Managing the media, not to mention peoples’ expectations, is part of your job now, too, Tim.” – MacDailyNews, “New Apple iPhone 4S fails to wow investors, fans,” October 4, 2011

“There are plenty of numbers in the universe. Infinite, actually. Don’t worry, Apple, you won’t run out. Wonder what the mood would be right now had Apple simply named ‘iPhone 4S’ the ‘iPhone 5?'” – MacDailyNews, “Apple underwhelms with iPhone 4S,” October 4, 2011

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 (read: losing their innovation edge) which allows the media and competitors to claim, wrongly, that other companies have surpassed Apple. Why gift the naysayers with the opportunity, Apple?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Ken Segall: Apple should name their next iPhone, ‘iPhone 6,’ not ’5S’ – April 5, 2013


    1. Exactly.

      “Wonder what the mood would be right now had Apple simply named ‘iPhone 4S’ the ‘iPhone 5?’” – MacDailyNews, “Apple underwhelms with iPhone 4S,” October 4, 2011”

      The ONLY people that care are hit seeking editors and some readers of hit seeking blogs. Even with the “slowdown” in iPhone demand, iPhone sales are 18% higher this year, than last (at the same time).

    2. It’s because the dumb saps do things like call the next iPad “The New iPad”. That was the dumbest thing I ever had to explain to about a hundred people, especially since there are now two different versions of The New iPad.

        1. I have to strongly disagree.
          I didn’t understand it at all first but it took me just a few day to get used to it and understand why and I think it was smart by them. They don’t want use to focus so much on the numer any more. An increasing numer is better, if the number does not increase the perception will be that the product was not that revolutionary even though everyone knows it is much better than the last. It’s psychology. There is not so much to improve with an iPad. They will get small updates over time but the biggest leap is already done, the iPad itself. Apple want us to focus on the device as a category not a new device with an inferentially higher number each time. Apple want the focus to be on what can be done with the device, the software and Apps not the number on the device itself. There is really nothing confusing with “The new iPad” and I hope the people you explained it for understand that now. We have to get away from the chains of numbers and Apple does not think it fits the iPad. I think Apple was playing with people mind on this one, resetting things. I mean, who cares about the iPad number 4. We know it will be incrementally better than the iPad number 3. It will still have a large screen, be retina, have WiFi, have a faster CPU and Graphics, be made in aluminium. There aren’t so many things that can change and we all know they will all be improved upon in different versions so a numer on the device should play a lesser role. In some result it reminds me of Ron Johnsons resetting of JCP. People were so used to discounts and coupons. For some reason they thought it was better. More exciting. In their minds perhaps but not in reality. I think Apple at least with that version tried to get people hocked off the version addiction.

          1. I can understand your POV. Dumping the numbering does fit more closely with how Apple has ‘named’ many of its other devices. Well, except the iPhone.

            I still, however, don’t like the generic name for many generations of a device. When I tell people what MacBook I’ve been using, I have to tell them the year and the month it was released. That’s easier than coming up with the obscure model number Apple use. It was easier and a bit more fun when I could say I used to use a PowerBook Wallstreet PDQ.

            In the end, it’s about communication and matching what you’re talking about with a specific device. For now anyway, even the Apple Store and Best Buy sales folks are distinguishing between available iPad models be calling the newest version ‘The iPad 4’ and that’s fine with me!

    3. The new iPhone 6 will come in 2 colors, 3 data storage sizes and 4 different handset sizes.

      That’s right, 24 different phones to choose from if you believe the idiot analyzers.

      I can’t wait.

    4. Products have been destroyed by bad naming so clearly others re affected by it. It also shows that some thought and therefore have likely shown even more about the product itself. There is nothing more off putting than obscure numbering regimes that mean nothing or at least nothing to the buying public.

  1. Of course, if they called it the iPhone 5 instead of 4S someone would have complained about the incremental-ness of the update – much like some have about the Galaxy 4.

    Personally, I think people shouldn’t take rumors as fact and pay more attention to what’s being offered rather than what it’s called.

  2. What a waste of time to discuss what its called. Consumers, owners of AAPL, potential buyers of AAPL all have one thing in common when it comes to Apple making an announcement of the next rework of ANY of their mobile devices – form over substance. A new model of the phone won’t do a thing for the price of the stock, nor will it move the company from the doldrums it is mired in under a totally incapable CEO.

      1. PeePeeBoy?! I am wracked with nostalgia. Seeing as almost EVERY troll we get around here is an anonymous coward, we’ll never know who is really who.

        Could it be you PeePeeBoy? Could it REALLY be YOU?!

  3. “When the iPhone 4S debuted, disappointment reigned. All because of the name.”

    I disagree. If Apple had called the 4S the iPhone 5, the punditry would have been howling with disappointment and screaming that Apple had not innovated. Yes, there were bumps in the internals and Siri was a nice addition, but the 4S was clearly smoked by the actual 5.

    The S acknowledges that while there are improvements, this is not the next iPhone iteration, which is clearly demarcated by the external form factor. It also creates a simple way for consumers to distinguish it from first version of that phone, so Apple can easily price the two differently.

    1. Oh hell no…

      Q: What iPhone is this compatible with?
      A: The iPhone 4S and above.


      Q: What iPhone is this compatible with?
      A: The 2011 iPhone and above

      Q: Which 2011 iPhone?
      A: The one after October

      Q: I bought mine in December, so it’s good right?
      A: Well was it the one released prior to October?

      Q: I don’t know, how can I tell?
      A: Well it looks like the 2010 iPhone but it was released in 2011.

      Q: Again, how can I tell?
      A: Forget it.

    1. I don’t like it, but I suspect you’re right. Glad someone said it. Really, though, who doesn’t call their “New iPad” an iPad 3? Numbering them does make more sense. The next new iPad won’t be the “New iPad”, so what will it be called? “Newer”? That’s just silly.

  4. Hate to say it but Apple needs to make a major jump forward with it. They need features to match Samsung or the perception of them as an innovator will continue to decline.

    1. Features are not innovation if the majority of users don’t need them or want them. Features are just bullet points on a Power Point slide. {I didn’t use Keynote slide because you’ve never used a Mac.}

      Innovation is something Samsung has to copy for their next phone.

    2. The new gs4 has a lot of gimmicky stupid useless features that by day 3 of ownership will be turned off for the annoyance they become.

      Just adding a bag o’ features for the sake of features is stupid.

  5. if the iPhone 4 is still crushing most handset makers… imagines the 4 phased out and having to compete against the 5 for free, 100 or 200 price-point with contract.

  6. MDN really needs to get off the “perception is reality kick” in those takes and stop catering to all the tech media and other numbnutz who think it is.

    As the Bard wrote, “What’s in a name? …”

    1. re perception is reality and what’s in a name?

      Yes it is. And ‘everything’.
      A marketing truism states that no-one ever buys anything, they buy their perception of the thing. I’d suggest that is true, otherwise there would be zero room for any kind of marketing except a list of specs.

      So MDN should NOT get off the perception kick, because it’s the center of the whole topic.

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