“The pattern is pretty clear. In even-numbered years (2008, 2010, 2012, 2014) Apple releases all-new iPhone form factors: 3G, 4, 5, 6/6 Plus. In the subsequent years, they release ‘S’ variants: iPhones that look nearly identical to their predecessors, but with improved components,” John Gruber writes for Daring Fireball. “In the same way that automobiles don’t change form factors every year, I don’t think it would be feasible for Apple to change the iPhone’s form factor every year. I think it takes more than a year for Apple’s design team to create a new iPhone design — at least to create a new design that is different because it is better, not merely different for the sake of being different.”
“The glaring downside to this tick-tock schedule is that we as a culture — and particularly the media, both on the tech/gadgetry side and the business side — are obsessed with ‘new.’ And, well, the S-model iPhones don’t look new. This year there is a new rose gold aluminum finish, but at a glance, the iPhones 6S look like last year’s iPhones 6,” Gruber writes. “Every year is an iterative improvement over the previous one, whether it’s an S year or not. But it’s hard not to see the S years as more iterative, less impressive, updates, simply because they look the same.”
“I used to think — and maybe it was even true — that one of the advantages to Apple of the tick-tock cycle is that during the S years, they’re already experts at manufacturing a bunch of the components. That they’ve already got a year of experience making that case, that display, those buttons. That manufacturing-wise, Apple could just swap in a few new components, like a new A-series CPU, and call it a day,” Gruber writes. “But the iPhones 6S don’t use the same case as last year’s models. They’re now made out of an altogether new ‘7000 series’ aluminum alloy. This isn’t just a new material that needs to be obtained in massive quantities, it also requires new CNC machining to carve and polish the frames. The displays are the same sizes as last year, but Apple is using a new glass that it calls ‘the strongest in the smartphone industry.” Even the Touch ID sensor is new. Everything you can touch on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus is new.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: What if Apple had possessed the confidence this year to drop the misguided “S” naming scheme and call this year’s iPhones either the “iPhone 7” and “iPhone 7 Plus” or, perhaps even better yet, simply iPhone (2015) or (9th gen.) and iPhone Plus (2015) or (9th gen.)?
Would the media then treat the these basically all-new iPhones as less impressive and merely iterative? Would that name change have garnered even more attention and publicity for the new iPhones? In the utterly predictable media uproar over the name, would even more focus be placed on what exactly is new about these iPhones (3D Touch, Live Photos, 4K videos, 12-megapixel iSight camera, 5-megapixel FaceTime HD camera, Apple A9, 7000 series aluminum, dual ion‑exchange glass, etc.)? Would the net benefit to Apple and the iPhone be positive?
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
Insanely Great: iPhone 6s benchmarks as powerful as the Retina MacBook – September 22, 2015
TechCrunch reviews iPhone 6s/Plus: ‘The camera alone is worth the price of admission’ – September 22, 2015
Mossberg reviews iPhone 6s/Plus: ‘The best smartphone, period.’ – September 22, 2015
The Verge reviews iPhone 6s/Plus: ‘You should buy an iPhone 6S Plus’ – September 22, 2015
USA Today’s Baig reviews iPhone 6s/Plus: 3D Touch, great camera add up to tempting upgrade – September 22, 2015
Apple sees fastest iOS adoption ever with iOS 9 as iPhone 6s/Plus set to arrive on September 25th – September 21, 2015
Apple, enough with the stupid iPhone ‘S’ naming already – September 16, 2015