Analyst: Apple to jump from iPhone 6 to iPhone 7, skipping iPhone 6s

“Apple is drawing up plans to skip a generation, launching the iPhone 7 a year ahead of its expected arrival, according to an industry analyst,” The Week reports.

“Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at KGI Securities, says the new phone will introduce significant new features – prompting Apple to break with convention and call it the iPhone 7,” The Week reports. “According to Kuo, whom MacRumors says “has a respectable track record at reporting on Apple’s upcoming plans”, Apple will introduce Force Touch – a technology it developed for the Apple Watch – on this year’s new iPhone, and then update it in 2016.”

The Week reports, “Kuo suggests that the introduction of Force Touch ‘may be significant enough for Apple to call its next iPhone the iPhone 7,’ MacRumors reports – a move that would consign the iPhone 6S to history before it was even unveiled.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Do it, Apple.

As we wrote on April 5, 2013:

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?MacDailyNews Take, April 5, 2013

32 Comments

  1. I don’t believe it. Apple would have to design an entirely new body to justify calling it iPhone 7. And skipping “6s” would be stupid. “6s” sounds like “success” and “sex”, two things nearly every company promises their products will deliver to you.

      1. You don’t have to have access to the “secret book of rules for naming Apple products” to have noticed that apple ONLY increments the number when there’s an entirely new body design for the device. If there isn’t, and the iPhone 6 and 7 LOOK identical, that would be confusing to consumers, who have gotten used to the 3G->3GS -> 4 -> 4S -> 5 -> 5S naming conventions.

        Being able to press hard on the screen would not justify a “7” on its own. It’s the equivalent of adding Siri (4S) or the TouchID fingerprint reader (5S).

        1. Yeah except they screwed it all up with the 4.

          Gen 1: Original iPhone
          Gen 2: iPhone 3G
          Gen 3: iPhone 3GS
          Gen 4: iPhone 4
          Gen 5: iPhone 4S
          Gen 6: iPhone 5
          Gen 7: iPhone 5S
          Gen 8: iPhone 6 (Plus)

          So… they considered 3GS a full model, yet ignored all the other S models. Either the Gen6 iPhone should have been called “iPhone 6” or the Gen4 should have been called “iPhone 3”.

          1. I don’t see what you’re getting at. Yeah they skipped “iPhone 2”, but the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3GS looked physically identical, exactly like the 4/4S, and 5/5S did.

            1. Certainly got me confused so what’s it going to be the iPhone 6 Plus S sounds like Dell’s stunningly logical naming conventions to me. And God forbid if they introduce a new 4 inch iPhone what’s test going to be iPhone mini 6 S. Perhaps Apple should introduce th same logic to Macs which somehow seem able to avoid such Excentricities at least since the days of CX, CS FX etc.

        2. It doesn’t have to be confusing to consumers. Everybody knows that a higher number is the latest and greatest. Apple made the right call in naming the 3GS, so that the fourth iteration was called the iPhone 4, and sure there is some logic in naming identical devices by the same first number. But in hindsight, it was a mistake to call the fifth and seventh generations 4S and 5S. If Apple calls their ninth generation the 6S, how many people will know that it is three generations ahead of Samsung’s S6 and soon to be S7.

          Plus with rumors of Apple releasing a new smaller iPhone as well, the naming starts to become cumbersome. Do I want the 6S plus, 6S, 6S mini, 6 plus, or 6? Does that really seem more clear to consumers than 7 plus, 7, or 7 min, 6 plus or 6?

  2. Yup.

    I heard it while shopping for an iPhone.
    Heard it from a sales person.
    I said, “You mean 6s?”
    Nope, she says “iPhone 7”.

    Didn’t believe it, and now the story.

    1. Yes, obviously Cook and Ive would brief the sales girl at the local Apple Store about their product plans for a release that’s 6 months out. Makes perfect sense.

  3. Could be a release that will do away with the low-end last year model and have fully featured phones in three screen sizes. I hate the concept of having a lesser camera in the smaller size, so you have to choose between big size with good camera or handier size with not so good camera.

  4. Agree. Apple’s iPhone nomenclature sounds almost as silly as Samsung’s. The names themselves lack inherent meaning.

    Apple should simply call it the Apple iPhone, further described by model year and any other key characteristic, like “Plus” or “C” for carbonate. iPhone 2015. iPhone Plus 2015. Or iPhone C 2015. I think it is how most cars are described: make and model year.

    So anyone buying a new phone would be buying the iPhone, iPhone Plus, or iPhone C, 2015 model.

    Keeps it simple. And easy to understand.

    1. I think they’ll have to make the move to something like you describe at some point. Does anyone really think there’s going to be an “iPhone 17”, “iPhone 24”, “iPhone 32”?

      Yes, MDN, there is an infinite supply of numerals for Apple to choose from, but at some point it just gets silly to use them when the numbers get large enough.

      1. I heard from a reliable source that they are planning to skip 17, 24 and 32 because the scheduled improvements to 16, 23 and 31 will be so great they will jump straight to 18S, 25S and 33S.

      1. They’d lose a whack tonne of branding associated with it though. Going from a 2-syllable word to a 3-syllable one (Apple Phone) is also a problem. Being *forced* to say Apple ahead of the product name is taking a terrible page out of Microsoft’s branding playbook, e.g. “Microsoft Office Word”

        1. I think the reason they’re moving away from “i” and toward “Apple” (Apple Watch, Apple Pay, Apple Maps) is because any company on the planet can and does make “iWhatevers”, but only Apple can make “Apple Whatevers”. It’s a stronger branding that can’t be diluted.

          But I doubt they’ll ever rename the iPhone to Apple Phone. iPhone is just too culturally iconic to discard.

          BTW it’s not just Microsoft, Google does the same thing. (Google Chrome, Google Glass, Google Maps, etc.)

          1. Only because neither Google or Microsoft had used any (somewhat) unique branding beforehand on their products.

            Apple Watch is a new category so they can start fresh, but they really cannot do that with iPhone and iPad… although the latter is starting to get diluted by the public to mean *any* tablet, so Apple just might rename that just to avoid the Kleenex conundrum.

  5. “S” to me has always stood for “Stable”. The “S” version is the perfected version of the prior year phone with small incremental changes to the design. I have had the 4S and the 5S and both were improvements on the prior design. The number only 4,5 are in my opinion for those early adopters who like to be first out the gate with new tech. The “S” phones are for those who value reliability and stability over the novelty of newness.

    1. The only time Apple ever offered and explanation of the “S” was with the 3GS, and the S stood for Speed. Phil Schiller explains…

      This video is fun to watch for another reason, to see just how far the iPhone has come in such a short time.

  6. My wife calls here iPhone 5s, her “iPhone 5 Steve”

    How hard can that be. Why not every other iPhone released, honor it’s creator, in name?

    Just a thought. It’s been mentioned before. But I suppose people forget.

  7. I don’t think the S-cycle is “stupid”. There are some advantages to using an overall case design that has been out for a year (so all manufacturing/design issues have been worked out), and getting updated/faster features. I did the 3S, 4S and 5S…until I broke the cycle and got the 6.

  8. The numbering in and of itself is stupid. When will it take Apple to realize? iPhone 37 or 46?!?

    Steve said they were calling it iPhone and he should have stuck with that as Apple likes to keep naming things simple. Well used to.

    Apple, discretely just stamp the year the products were introduced to the buying public. I mean imagine 6 years from now one could say they are proud owners of an iPad Air, iPad Mini, iPhone, Apple Watch and just keep the version year as a need to know when contacting Apple support. Otherwise 6 years from now one proud owner could say iPad Air 8, iPad mini 9, iPhone 9s, & Apple Watch 3cp0…

    1. Bingo! Apple can use internal numbering codes all it wants, but advertising numerical iterations of hardware is really pointless. Macs are not advertised in edition number, they are referenced to major specifications (sizes) and release year. That’s what people really care about. Also, the mid-cycle “S” refresh is just not compelling anymore. It doesn’t create buzz for the iPhone. no other Apple product feels the need to offer “S” editions. It is a waste of marketing.

      The iPhone lineup should do the same thing, stop marketing meaningless numbers. Here’s my suggestion going forward:
      – iPhone C — “C” standing for compact, NOT color, with a 4″ screen
      – iPhone — with a 4.7″ screen
      – iPhone + — with a 5.5″ screen

      Then Apple should then get into a relatively consistent cycle to release an all-new iteration of each phone every ~2 years, staggering the releases so there would essentially be a shiny new iPhone in stores every ~8 months. That would generate significantly more positive press for Apple rather than having huge lag times between products, which just leaves journalists to make up useless stuff to talk about for years between iPhone refreshes.

      1. that would be awesome, as long as each phone used top-quality materials. but maybe Cook is also looking at a $10000 model with a diamond encrusted case and a selection of $200 colored leather lanyards.

  9. I say they should skip the 6S only because Samsung just released the S6. Calling it the 7 will subconsciously identify it as being ahead of Samsung to those who do not know the difference.

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