74% of iPhone users think ‘iPhone 13’ should be named something else

Apple introduced iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 earlier this month. Beta testing of the new operating system versions has already begun with the final stable build set to reach the public this fall, coinciding with the launch of next-gen iPhones. With only three months to go until then, SellCell did a follow-up to their previous survey to gauge user opinion on Apple’s upcoming iPhones and software releases, and found that “iPhone 13” is not a popular name.

'iPhone 13 Pro Max' dummy model (left) shows noticeably larger camera lenses vs. IPhone 12 Pro Max (right)
‘iPhone 13 Pro Max’ dummy model (left) shows noticeably larger camera lenses vs. IPhone 12 Pro Max (right)

Abhin Mahipal for SellCel:

Survey Highlights:

• 1-in-5 Apple users (18.3%) would be put off by the ‘iPhone 13’ moniker

• A whopping 74% would prefer a different name than iPhone 13 for next-gen iPhones, with ‘iPhone (2021)’ voted the most suitable name at 38%. Other responses: iPhone 13 (26%), iPhone 21 (16%), iPhone 12S (13%), iPhone 14 (7%)

• A majority of Apple users (64%) would rather wait for new iPhones to come out than buy an iPhone 12 right now if an upgrade is due

• More than half (52.6%) are “slightly” or “not at all” excited about the new iOS/iPadOS 15 update, with an additional 28.1% revealing they are only “somewhat” excited

• Upgraded wallet (23%), advanced Spotlight search (17.3%), ‘Find My’ feature to track switched-off or erased devices (14.2%), SharePlay (10.1%), LiveText (9%) are among the most liked features of the new software

• Interactive widgets (32.3%), always-on display (21%), pro tools (Xcode, Final Cut Pro, etc.) for iPad (14.9%), better external display support for iPad (13.2%), and support for multiple user accounts (8%) are among the top missing features

• 53.1% of users are comfortable with letting a friend or family manage their iCloud data after their demise through the Digital Legacy feature, but most users (71%) would want control over what type of data is shared

• Browsing history (27.3%), messages (16.4%), Keychain passwords (13.7%), purchase history (12.1%), and credit card information (9.2%) topped the list of data not to be shared with a legacy contact

• ‘iPhone (2021)’ is the most popular pick as a whopping 38% would like iPhones to follow the same naming convention as Macbooks or iPads and do away with the model numbers

MacDailyNews Take: Triskaidekaphobia is a terrible affliction.

As for iPhone naming, as we wrote back in August 2019:

Starting this year, if Apple wanted to properly name the iPhone, they should do it as shown below. People could then simply say they have the “iPhone Air,” the “iPhone,” or the “iPhone Pro.”


• 5.8-inch iPhone Air (2019)
• 6.1-inch iPhone (2019)
• 6.5-inch iPhone Pro (2019)

Going forward, simply follow the template (display size, iPhone Air/iPhone/iPhone Pro, year):

• 5.4-inch iPhone Air (2020)
• 6.1-inch iPhone (2020)
• 6.8-inch iPhone Pro (2020)

Then, prior to last year’s iPhone reveals, we did ourselves one better, literally:

Here’s how we’d name them:

• iPhone mini (2020)
• iPhone (2020)
• iPhone Pro (2020)
• iPhone Pro Max (2020)

or, better yet:

• 5.4-inch iPhone (2020)
• 6.1-inch iPhone (2020)
• 6.1-inch iPhone Pro (2020)
• 6.7-inch iPhone Pro (2020)

And, regrading Apple’s inexplicably stupid “S” naming scheme, as regular readers know, we’ve written a book’s worth on iPhone “S” naming. Some examples:

“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


  1. Yes, but not because 13 is unlucky. It’s because “teen” doesn’t sound good for marketing, and just adds the same extra syllable for rest of the teens. They should have stopped after iPhone X. Apple stopped with the numbers a few years ago for iPad models.

    And THAT is the practical reason for using “S” after the number. Yes, it does signify having same overall design with upgrade to specs. But the REAL reason was to “conserve” the numbers before 10, because the marketing people wanted to avoid getting into the teens. But after skipping to “iPhone 10” for the notched-screen overhaul, the need to stretch-out model numbers was no longer necessary. So the concurrent “classic” model was iPhone 8, not 7S. But wait… To delay the teens, the model after iPhone X was XS. After that, Apple probably decided to stop with numbers after 12, so there was no iPhone 11S.

  2. iPhone 13 was two years ago and iPhone X was actually iPhone 11 in 2017. Nuckin’ futs, RIGHT?

    That is IF Apple kept a CONSISTENT naming convention from the beginning, replacing their dysfunctional alternative variants. By the following accounting 2021 is the year of iPhone 15.

    2007: iPhone 1
    2008: iPhone 2
    2009: iPhone 3
    2010: iPhone 4
    2011: iPhone 5
    2012: iPhone 6
    2013: iPhone 7
    2014: iPhone 8
    2015: iPhone 9
    2016: iPhone 10
    2017: iPhone 11
    2018: iPhone 12
    2019: iPhone 13
    2020: iPhone 14
    2021: iPhone 15

    That said MDN has the perfect solution — name iPhones like vehicles:

    ~ 5.4-inch iPhone (2020)
    ~ 6.1-inch iPhone (2020)
    ~ 6.1-inch iPhone Pro (2020)
    ~ 6.7-inch iPhone Pro (2020)

    Make, Model and Year. Perfect!

    Lastly, to all the woke superstitious pansy asses out there it’s just a number of two numerals, get over it…

    1. I think the problem with that is that it reduces the perceived value of phones that have been in the lineup for a while. Sometimes a high end iPhone will hang around and become the low end after a few years simply because it was a good design that became much cheaper to manufacture.

      1. While I understand and appreciate your point, the naming convention proposed by MDN still works well. The naming convention now is complicated, erratic and not on a level playing field that everyone can understand. Keeping up with EXEMPTIONS and ESOTERIC naming is a pain…

  3. I HATE the Mac names that have the year as an afterthought in parentheses and I would also HATE if they went that way for phones and iPads. Searching for specific versions with the year as an afterthought is a PAIN. Almost as bad as typing a comment on this site using their app.

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