During the Q&A session at D10 today Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked an interesting question about how his company names its products. While many have speculated as to why Apple called the fifth-generation iPhone the “4S” back in October, Cook confirmed that the smartphone was named after its flagship feature, Siri.
Apple names its products each generation by either a flagship feature or design change. When a certain product establishes itself, naming conventions are usually dropped altogether, like the iMac and iPod Shuffle.
“Lot of people ask me that about iPad,” Cook said. “If you look back at iPod, we had an iPod and we changed it a few times and we kept calling it iPod. When we announced a new one and we called it iPod Mini. When we changed it massively we called it Nano.”
The same goes for the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. You don’t say you own a “MacBook Air 3.”
“You can stick with the name and people generally love that, or you can put a number at the end which denotes the generation,” said Cook. “And if you keep the same industrial design, as in the case of the 4S, some people might say it stands for Siri or speed. We were thinking of Siri when we did it. For the 3GS we were thinking of speed.”
The third-gen iPad was called “the new iPad” by Apple back in March. Cook’s comments indicate that the next iPhone will adopt a new naming convention, if rumors are to be believed. We’re placing our bets on “the new iPhone.”