Why Apple Is Calling It The iPhone 5 [Opinion]

Why Apple Is Calling It The iPhone 5 [Opinion]

Apple’s invite for today’s event confirms the next iPhone will be called the iPhone 5.

We thought we’d had it all figured out.

When Apple bucked the trend of numerically naming the iPad by calling the Retina iPad the “new iPad” instead of the iPad 3, we thought it was a sure thing that they’d do the same thing for the next iPhone. The next iPhone, then, would be “the new iPhone” or the “2012 iPhone”, not the iPhone 5.

It made total sense, in a way: Apple doesn’t add a numeral to the end of its other products, like the MacBook Pro or the iPod Classic. They don’t even do it for the iPod touch, which is basically the most current iPod with all the phone guts stripped out. Why continue setting apart the iPhone as a sequel to the handsets that have come before when you can position it, not as an incremental update, but a timeless product in its own right: the Mercedes of smartphones?

That’s the way Apple handles the rest of its products, but with the invitation for today’s, and now Apple accidentally spilling the official name of the next iPhone on their website, it now seems clear that Apple is going to call the sixth-generation iPhone the ‘iPhone 5’ after all. Why would they do that?

We think there’s a couple of issues at play here.

The first one, we think, is simply an issue of expectation. Ever since the iPhone 4, consumers have been clammoring for the iPhone 5 by name. Remember when everyone was calling the handset that would become the iPhone 4S the ‘iPhone 5’ instead? Given the longer than usual delay between the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S, that’s almost a two and a half year length of time in which people primarily referred to the next major redesign of the iPhone as the ‘iPhone 5.’

The fact of the matter is that after about twenty-eight months of word-to-mouth about the upcoming iPhone 5, it’s just good marketing to capitalize upon the buzz. People have expected the ‘iPhone 5’ to be the next huge upgrade for so long, the name’s already got momentum and caché. It builds off of expectations: after so much anticipation for the ‘iPhone 5’, Apple is finally delivering.

After so much anticipation for the ‘iPhone 5’, Apple is finally delivering.

But we think that’s only part of it. Apple, after all, could probably call the next iPhone anything they wanted and sell enough of them to keep a medium-sized nation’s GDP afloat for a year. We think there’s another couple of reasons Apple is keeping a numeral in the iPhone’s name.

For one, Apple sells more than one generation of iPhone at a time, unlike almost any other product. Right now, for example, Apple is selling the iPhone 3Gs, the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S. That’s three iPhones Apple is selling at once, and when the iPhone 5 comes out, it’s possible the number of iPhones being sold in different markets for different prices will grow to four. Keeping the numeral in the name of the next iPhone, then, allows customers to easily distinguish which iPhone they want and which of the current iPhones available are “better” than the other iPhones.

(It’s true that Apple sells more than one 9.7-inch iPad right now — the iPad 2 and the new iPad — but we expect that this will change when they introduce the smaller 7-inch iPad mini next month: the iPad 2 continuing to be sold was just a stop-gap maneuver that allowed Apple to keep selling a cheaper iPad against inexpensive Android competitors while they finished up their sub-$300 tablet. When the iPad mini comes out, we expect the iPad 2 will likely go away, and the iPad line of tablets will bifurcate down separate branches: the 9.7-inch iPad and the iPad mini, both of which would be considered separate products, not different generations of the same product. But I digress…)

Maybe Apple’s signaling that they don’t expect the iPad to radically change every year from here on out.

Perhaps there’s another issue at play, though. Why would Apple take such pains to make the point that they are calling the third-generation iPad “the new iPad” and yet, six months later, call the sixth-generation iPhone the “iPhone 5?” Maybe Apple’s not contradicting itself, but is instead signaling that they don’t expect the iPad to radically change every year from here on out, just like its other products.

Look at the difference between the iPad 2 and the new iPad. Sure, the new iPad has a Retina Display and has a faster processor and a couple other spec bumps, but otherwise, it pretty much looks and feels like the iPad 2. Maybe Apple’s trying to de-emphasize the difference between iPads by just calling it “the new iPad” because they think that, like most of their other products, the iPad won’t change much every year: like Apple’s other products, the iPad will have a major redesign every once and a while, but otherwise it will continue to undergo a series of incremental performance updates every year, largely looking and feeling the same each generation.

If that’s true, Apple’s decision to call the next iPhone the “iPhone 5’ seems to imply that they think the iPhone will continue to evolve rapidly every two years, not just seeing incremental improvements, but major changes in both functionality and design. Under this naming scheme, the iPhone 5 will be followed by an iPhone 5S that is mostly a performance update on the iPhone 5 before it. A year later, the iPhone 5S would be followed by the iPhone 6, which would boast not only a major design revision, but powerful new hardware and functionality (for example, NFC) that will fundamentally change the way you interact with your smartphone.

If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. An iPhone is the most important and intimate computer most people carry around with them, and there’s just so much more we can do with them. Apple doesn’t want to market all iPhones the same way until they can stop revolutionizing the way we interact with our smartphones every two years, like clockwork. They want each and every iPhone to say right in its name that it is bigger and more important than the last.

Apple wants each and every iPhone to say right in its name that it is bigger and more important than the last.

The iPhone is a special product to Apple. It’s the product that has set up their fortunes and made the the biggest company in the world: the most iconic, best selling gadget the world has ever known just five years after its debut. If you were Apple, would you rock the boat and change the way you brand the latest and greatest iPhone when you didn’t have to?

Update: Here’s another awesome idea on why Apple’s not calling it anything but the iPhone 5: they have no intention of releasing an iPhone nano, iPhone mini or iPhone Pro. In other words, all other successful Apple products eventually become product families, but Apple intends to keep the iPhone singular. Makes sense, and would explain both why Apple decided to change the name sequencing of the iPad when they did — they intended to make it into a family of devices — and why Apple doesn’t add numbers to the name of the Apple TV: they expect to eventually turn that product into a family as well with the introduction of the Apple HDTV.

Related
  • Robert Edward Lee

    One thing of interest… We all know this is an iPhone media event… But Apple isn’t showing anything else in the invitation but the “date” when the iPhone will be announced. Also of interest is the shadow showing the “5″. Many may believe it is for the name of the next iPhone… however… it could simply be pointing to the 5th of October, which is a Friday, for when the phone will be released. If you think about it… it makes sense. The “12″ is the introduction date. The “5″ is the release date. There isn’t anything else in the invitation that would make you think they are solely talking about the iPhone name par say… its all “dates” in the invite.

  • matrix3D

    I’m still holding out hope that Apple doesn’t name it this and is instead just teasing the fact that the “iPhone 5 everybody keeps talking about is what we’ll be talking about” and isn’t simply confirming the name of it in advance. What does the “5″ even represent? Steve Jobs, when he introduced the iPhone 4, referred to it as “the iPhone 4, the fourth generation iPhone.” That made sense. Similarly, when the iPhone 3G came out, it was so named because it added 3G networking. So they have already had two different naming conventions so far… the second generation iPhone was named the iPhone 3G because of a specific feature that was added while the fourth generation iPhone 4 was named as such because it was the fourth generation of the device. With the next iPhone being the sixth generation, what would the “5″ even mean? Certainly not “5G”… unless AT&T has somehow twisted their arm into advertising them as capable of a “5G” wireless network that doesn’t exist, such as what they did with the iPhone 4S showing HSPA+ networks as “4G”. The “5″ simply doesn’t make sense when using either of the prior naming conventions… it should be the “iPhone 6″ if we’re going to go by the generational naming convention, which also indicates that it’s better than an iPhone 4 or 4S, or they should go with “iPhone LTE” in order to tout a new feature like they did with the 3G. Personally, I think they should just do what they’ve already done with all of their other products and simply drop the numerical naming convention entirely and just go with “iPhone.” The number thing is just too much like… Microsoft.

  • Tallest_Skil

    Why? Because Steve is dead. Because Apple doesn’t care about its founding principles anymore.

    Because they’d rather give people what they think they want than show them what they want. Next it’s design by committee and we’re back to the ’90s.

  • TylerHoj

    People are concluding this ‘the new’ branding that replaces a numerical generation is only because of ‘the new iPad.’ I don’t think this trend works with the iPhone because the iPad is more of a desktop emulation device. Therefore requiring a desktop oriented branded as in ‘the new iPad.’ The iPhone’s numerical system has become just as iconic as the device itself. Keep in mind the iPhone 3GS was technically the iPhone 4, being the fourth generation. Apple having slapped a number on the device for the actual iPhone 4 sets it apart from ground previously broken by the last generation.

    On the other hand, we could be entirely wrong. Apple could have placed the ’5′ in the invite because they plan on launching the ‘iPad mini,’ iPod touch, nano and shuffle and iPhone.

  • technochick

    It’s a red herring. They are calling it the iPhone full stop

    The 5 is because they are releasing 5 products. The iPhone, new iPod touch, new iPod nano, updated Apple TV box and new iTunes.

  • Tallest_Skil

    The 5 is because they are releasing 5 products. The iPhone, new iPod touch, new iPod nano, updated Apple TV box and new iTunes.

    My dear… I do believe… that you’ve come up with something interesting. They HAVE done that before. They’ve put up “ten new features” and really stretched them out. And they…

    iTunes… Bravo, madam, bravo…

    But I’m prepping for the worst, in any case. So should you. I hope Apple has that joking spark left in them to do something so hilarious, but…

  • tomp

    Why? Because Steve is dead. Because Apple doesn’t care about its founding principles anymore.

    Because they’d rather give people what they think they want than show them what they want. Next it’s design by committee and we’re back to the ’90s.

    You’re starting to sound like “if Apple doesn’t agree with me and my thoughts then they’re doomed”…

  • Sikandar Hayat

    hackers are attacking apple…1 million id’s hacked have a look at this http://sevencolourgossips.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/hackers-hit-appleatleast-12-million-customers-effected/

  • BryanElliott

    This is probably just a play on words (numbers). It would be technically wrong for them to call it “iPhone 5″ and just wouldn’t make sense. The “5″ Probably indicates 5 different products. It could be 4 iPods (Shuffle, Nano, Touch and Classic) and 1 iPhone. I’m sticking to my gut on this one.

  • Sikandar Hayat

    iphone 5 and ipad mini to be announced on september 12 wowww have a look at their rumored specs and about 12 september http://sevencolourgossips.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/apple-i-phone-5-and-i-pad-mini-to-be-unveiled-on-september-12-wednesday/

  • Tallest_Skil

    You’re starting to sound like “if Apple doesn’t agree with me and my thoughts then they’re doomed”…

    Nope. If Apple can’t remember how to count to six…

    Do you have any reason to think that what I’ve said isn’t the case? There’s no other explanation for calling the next iPhone “5″ except to bow to what the public thinks. Screw that. Apple didn’t get where they are today by giving people what they THOUGHT they wanted.

  • mr_bee

    The “5″ is the famous “5 O’Clock shadow” of course. It means that none of the Apple men will shave the day before the event.

    Seriously though, you’re going out on a lonely limb here with this article Mr. Brownlee (or maybe just trolling for hits on a contentious subject).

  • Tallest_Skil
    The “5″ is the famous “5 O’Clock shadow” of course. It means that none of the Apple men will shave the day before the event.

    A ha ha ha ha HA! Oh, the best one yet!

    Maybe His Beardness himself, Jonathan Ive, will come on stage for the first time and present!

  • tomp
    You’re starting to sound like “if Apple doesn’t agree with me and my thoughts then they’re doomed”…

    Nope. If Apple can’t remember how to count to six…

    Do you have any reason to think that what I’ve said isn’t the case?

    No but I believe Apple does. Although the death of SJ is a huge loss, Apple is still run by one of the best people in the tech field and I still think they know what they are doing.

  • thegraphicmac

    Does anyone besides me think it’s hilarious that there are asshats here arguing in the comments on how or why the iPhone is numbered? Or that Apple is doomed because Steve Jobs is dead and that’s why Apple numbers things the way they do?

  • Tallest_Skil

    No but I believe Apple does. Although the death of SJ is a huge loss, Apple is still run by one of the best people in the tech field and I still think they know what they are doing.

    I hope so. I hope so. This name, if true, isn’t a good sign of that, though.

    Does anyone besides me think it’s hilarious that there are asshats here arguing in the comments on how or why the iPhone is numbered? Or that Apple is doomed because Steve Jobs is dead and that’s why Apple numbers things the way they do?

    You’re certainly the only one who thinks he can get away with that sort of language without being laughed at.

  • Jeff1741

    One thing of interest… We all know this is an iPhone media event… But Apple isn’t showing anything else in the invitation but the “date” when the iPhone will be announced. Also of interest is the shadow showing the “5″. Many may believe it is for the name of the next iPhone… however… it could simply be pointing to the 5th of October, which is a Friday, for when the phone will be released. If you think about it… it makes sense. The “12″ is the introduction date. The “5″ is the release date. There isn’t anything else in the invitation that would make you think they are solely talking about the iPhone name par say… its all “dates” in the invite.

    Nope. Apple wouldn’t leave that large of a gap. That would be almost a month of no sales on the current generation iPhones.

  • Tallest_Skil

    Nope. Apple wouldn’t leave that large of a gap. That would be almost a month of no sales on the current generation iPhones.

    They did it in the month before the launch of the iPhone 3G, just letting existing stock run out. I’m sure they learned from that experience.

  • Demetris Georgiou

    Guys keep it simple.. its just a date with a teaser of the next generation iphone. apple always says and makes its products simple to use. why do we tend to complicate things so much? why dont we follow along? its just 2 numbers. A date and the next iphone’s teaser, LIKE WE EXPECTED! unfortunately Steve Jobs died so dont expect ..”ohh, one more thing”. what does it really matter if its called the new iphone or iphone 5 or iphone SJ etc..? its still gonna be great! at the end of line we will still want one! just a week away..

  • patstar5

    Wish they would make an iPhone family. They will treat the IPad like the MacBook pro.

  • patstar5

    Wish they would make an iPhone family. They will treat the IPad like the MacBook pro.

  • Marcos Medina

    What if the 5 is because it is the 5th anniversary of the iPhone introduction? I still don’t think that they will combine a 6 on their operating system and a 5 on it’s hardware, it is not good marketing.

  • Tallest_Skil

    Wish they would make an iPhone family.

    They do… been to store.apple.com recently?

  • dporter15

    I’m still holding out hope that Apple doesn’t name it this and is instead just teasing the fact that the “iPhone 5 everybody keeps talking about is what we’ll be talking about” and isn’t simply confirming the name of it in advance. What does the “5″ even represent? Steve Jobs, when he introduced the iPhone 4, referred to it as “the iPhone 4, the fourth generation iPhone.” That made sense. Similarly, when the iPhone 3G came out, it was so named because it added 3G networking. So they have already had two different naming conventions so far… the second generation iPhone was named the iPhone 3G because of a specific feature that was added while the fourth generation iPhone 4 was named as such because it was the fourth generation of the device. With the next iPhone being the sixth generation, what would the “5″ even mean? Certainly not “5G”… unless AT&T has somehow twisted their arm into advertising them as capable of a “5G” wireless network that doesn’t exist, such as what they did with the iPhone 4S showing HSPA+ networks as “4G”. The “5″ simply doesn’t make sense when using either of the prior naming conventions… it should be the “iPhone 6″ if we’re going to go by the generational naming convention, which also indicates that it’s better than an iPhone 4 or 4S, or they should go with “iPhone LTE” in order to tout a new feature like they did with the 3G. Personally, I think they should just do what they’ve already done with all of their other products and simply drop the numerical naming convention entirely and just go with “iPhone.” The number thing is just too much like… Microsoft.

    I agree that yes they could call it the iPhone 6. But if you wanted it to make sense based on what you are saying then 5 would be the proper name. Remember after they released the iPhone 3G, they released essentially identical phone except for the internal specs with the 3GS. Again after Apple released the iPhone 4 they did something similar releasing an identical model to the 4 and only bumping up the internal specs. This seems to be an indication of how Apple will probably do phones from here on out.

    Releasing a completely new designed iPhone every year is pretty drastic even for a company Apple’s size and reputation. When it’s smarter to release a phone. Get feedback from people, then improve upon that device. And while all of that is going on. Have a team designing and getting ideas for a new iPhone in this case the iPhone 5, that is completely redesigned and whatnot giving them a 2 year period to come up with something completely original and new.

    Also consider this. What if, when they released the iPhone 4s which pretty much had a minor spec bump over the 4 in a new design? Wouldn’t you be kinda disappointed that all they did was add a slightly better processor and increase the camera to an 8MP? I’d rather wait 2 years to when they’ve had time to get a product to market that is both efficient and amazing instead of a mediocre increase (3gs-4s) every year.

  • easydone101

    It means the big number “12″ which is most important is the date of the event and “5″ (5:00 p.m.) is the time of the event. It makes perfect sense.

  • easydone101

    I’m still holding out hope that Apple doesn’t name it this and is instead just teasing the fact that the “iPhone 5 everybody keeps talking about is what we’ll be talking about” and isn’t simply confirming the name of it in advance. What does the “5″ even represent? Steve Jobs, when he introduced the iPhone 4, referred to it as “the iPhone 4, the fourth generation iPhone.” That made sense. Similarly, when the iPhone 3G came out, it was so named because it added 3G networking. So they have already had two different naming conventions so far… the second generation iPhone was named the iPhone 3G because of a specific feature that was added while the fourth generation iPhone 4 was named as such because it was the fourth generation of the device. With the next iPhone being the sixth generation, what would the “5″ even mean? Certainly not “5G”… unless AT&T has somehow twisted their arm into advertising them as capable of a “5G” wireless network that doesn’t exist, such as what they did with the iPhone 4S showing HSPA+ networks as “4G”. The “5″ simply doesn’t make sense when using either of the prior naming conventions… it should be the “iPhone 6″ if we’re going to go by the generational naming convention, which also indicates that it’s better than an iPhone 4 or 4S, or they should go with “iPhone LTE” in order to tout a new feature like they did with the 3G. Personally, I think they should just do what they’ve already done with all of their other products and simply drop the numerical naming convention entirely and just go with “iPhone.” The number thing is just too much like… Microsoft.

    Apple wouldn’t tease -_-

  • Amr Kal

    TechCrunch: Forget About “iPhone 5?, Leaked Image Shows Packaging For “The New iPhone”

    http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/04/forget-about-iphone-5-leaked-image-shows-packaging-for-the-new-iphone/

  • Lars Pallesen

    It means the big number “12″ which is most important is the date of the event and “5″ (5:00 p.m.) is the time of the event. It makes perfect sense.

    Yeah, except; the event is at 10.00 a.m. :-)

  • Bulldogger123

    It’s a red herring. They are calling it the iPhone full stop

    The 5 is because they are releasing 5 products. The iPhone, new iPod touch, new iPod nano, updated Apple TV box and new iTunes.

    Really? You are lumping 2 ipods in as part of the 5 products in this event. iPods will be 1 part of the event with all of them included! The 5 will be significant only to the iPhone 5.

  • Tallest_Skil

    Apple wouldn’t tease -_-

    Steve Jobs prank called Starbucks on stage at the first iPhone introduction and asked for 4,000 lattes to go.

    Woz spent money out the ear for an entire phone line for joke-of-the-day.

    Apple employees painted a Mercedes logo on the ground in a disabled parking space because Steve always parked his car there.

    Of course Apple teases.

  • Lars Pallesen

    This is probably just a play on words (numbers). It would be technically wrong for them to call it “iPhone 5″ and just wouldn’t make sense.

    It’s only “technically wrong” if you hold an unwavering belief that the numbers in the iPhone nomenclature ALWAYS refer to which generation iPhone it is. How ever I don’t understand why so many people hold that belief, since we already KNOW that isn’t true. The iPhone 3G was generation 2. The current iPhone 4S is generation 5!

    The only reasonable way to interpret the iPhone numbers is, that they are Apple’s way of signaling major design changes in the iPhone hardware. For that reason they kept the “3″ in the almost identical 3GS, and the “4″ in the virtually identical 4S. Now, with the larger display and the taller metal unibody it’s another major design shift, and hence the number will be 5, signaling a departure from the iPhone 4 design.

  • Tallest_Skil

    Now, with the larger display and the taller metal unibody it’s another major design shift, and hence the number will be 5, signaling a departure from the iPhone 4 design.

    Five. Has. Absolutely. No. Ties. To. The. Device.

    And it’s not that much of a departure…

  • striderrftn

    I don’t necessarily agree with the idea of “iPhone 5″.

    Judging from the existing naming system of Apple’s iPhone line, the company is pretty clear about the names and how they relate to each generation of iPhone.

    1st Gen – iPhone; 2nd Gen – iPhone 3G; 3rd Gen – iPhone 3Gs (speed); 4th Gen: iPhone 4; 5th Gen iPhone 4s (siri)

    As the next iPhone will be the 6th Gen, there is no way that Apple is going to name it “iPhone 5″ because its confusing in conflict with the sequence of the product line.

    Having saiid that, I don’t think it will be called iPhone 6 either. Partly because the markets is sort of expecting 5 as the number, should there be a number in the name.

    Therefore I am expecting an unexpected name for the iPhone.

  • Tallest_Skil

    As the next iPhone will be the 6th Gen, there is no way that Apple is going to name it “iPhone 5″ because its confusing in conflict with the sequence of the product line.

    Common sense and all logic agree with you. Apple, it seems, may not.

    Having saiid that, I don’t think it will be called iPhone 6 either.

    Certainly not. “The new iPhone” as marketing. “iPhone” as the name. Short. Sweet. Simple.

  • Shane Bryson

    It’s a red herring. They are calling it the iPhone full stop

    The 5 is because they are releasing 5 products. The iPhone, new iPod touch, new iPod nano, updated Apple TV box and new iTunes.

    And the dumbest statement award goes to…

  • copperbum

    i don’t really care what it’s called, to be honest. 5 makes enough sense to me, its one more than 4 and 4S. I’ll still buy it, along with most of you. so what does it really matter.

  • ThunderboltMan

    The “5″ is the famous “5 O’Clock shadow” of course. It means that none of the Apple men will shave the day before the event.

    Nah, it means that Cook and the boys will come out clothed from their local ‘Five and Dime’!

  • Hsn11

    People are concluding this ‘the new’ branding that replaces a numerical generation is only because of ‘the new iPad.’ I don’t think this trend works with the iPhone because the iPad is more of a desktop emulation device. Therefore requiring a desktop oriented branded as in ‘the new iPad.’ The iPhone’s numerical system has become just as iconic as the device itself. Keep in mind the iPhone 3GS was technically the iPhone 4, being the fourth generation. Apple having slapped a number on the device for the actual iPhone 4 sets it apart from ground previously broken by the last generation.

    On the other hand, we could be entirely wrong. Apple could have placed the ’5′ in the invite because they plan on launching the ‘iPad mini,’ iPod touch, nano and shuffle and iPhone.

    3Gs wasn’t the 4th gen, it was the 3rd (iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4 etc.)

  • Tallest_Skil

    3Gs wasn’t the 4th gen, it was the 3rd (iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4 etc.)

    I have no idea how he could have messed that up.

  • Koban4max

    LMAO at those who thought they were smart enough to think it was going to be iphon 6…. LMAO.

  • Tallest_Skil

    LMAO at those who thought they were smart enough to think it was going to be iphon 6…. LMAO.

    No matter what you trolls pretend, it’s the 6th iPhone. No one has thought it would be marketed as “iPhone 6″ for six months.

  • breck

    The event is on the 12th. Apple will introduce it’s 5th iOS device to the existing family of 4 iOS devices (1.iPhone, 2.iPod Touch, 3.iPad, 4.Apple TV) No way the 6th generation iPhone running the new iOS 6 will be called the iPhone 5. Just an observation (in my humble opinion) > https://dl.dropbox.com/u/59786241/6GeniPhone.jpg

  • Steve Palmer
    This is probably just a play on words (numbers). It would be technically wrong for them to call it “iPhone 5″ and just wouldn’t make sense.

    It’s only “technically wrong” if you hold an unwavering belief that the numbers in the iPhone nomenclature ALWAYS refer to which generation iPhone it is. How ever I don’t understand why so many people hold that belief, since we already KNOW that isn’t true. The iPhone 3G was generation 2. The current iPhone 4S is generation 5!

    The only reasonable way to interpret the iPhone numbers is, that they are Apple’s way of signaling major design changes in the iPhone hardware. For that reason they kept the “3″ in the almost identical 3GS, and the “4″ in the virtually identical 4S. Now, with the larger display and the taller metal unibody it’s another major design shift, and hence the number will be 5, signaling a departure from the iPhone 4 design.

    Finally a voice of reason. You are absolutely right.

  • Tallest_Skil

    Finally a voice of reason. You are absolutely right.

    Except that he’s absolutely wrong.

  • churchyfur

    Because it’s THEIR product and they can call it whatever they damn please – it doesn’t matter one iota what WE think they should call THEIR OWN DAMN PRODUCT. We’re all going to buy it no matter what they call it!

  • Alfred2612

    My take on this:

    You only number products that you want and expect people to upgrade regularly.

    This is why Apple sells an iPhone 4 and not an “iMac 4″ or an “iPod nano 4″, because the cool kids update their phones every year, whereas it doesn’t matter so much if your iMac or iPod is 2 or 3 years old. They *could* number these products if they wanted (indeed they used to number the iMacs, e.g. the old “G3″ and “G4″), but it’s inelegant and serves little purpose for something so is seldom replaced, so they don’t do it anymore.

    When it comes to a phone, every manufacturer wants you to be aware of what version you own, so you are going to upgrade when it’s old hat. That is why we got a 3GS and a 4S. They could have just said “the new iPhone” back then, but didn’t.

    So why did the iPad 2 become “the new iPad”? IMHO they are the new “cars” that everyone has, just as Jobs said. The iMacs are the trucks. 80+ million iPads says that he was right, and iPads are not like phones that are thrown away after 12 months for the latest thing. They are just like iMacs, they’ll hang around the home for years until they break. So just as we have “the new iMac”, “the new MacBook”, we now have “the new iPad”.

    A phone, however, is a special case. No other product is replaced so quickly by so many consumers. Therefore, it will probably always be numbered to emphasise the newness and maximise hype and sales.

    Here’s looking forward to the year 2020 and the release of the iPhone 10 (I bet anything they’ll call it the iPhone X).

  • Koban4max

    5= 5 times better than samsung

  • Panji Hadinugraha

    I’ve been thinking guys…

    1) What IF the ’5′ is the five NEW products that Apple will shows us today (including the iPhone), and not the ‘iPhone 5′ name itself?

    2) What IF Apple trolling at us the past couple of months? I dunno, maybe paying the media..*ahem*..reliable Apple Rumors websites across the web to publish fake “leaks”, guys?
    Seriously, don’t u think something’s off with all of those ‘leaks’ we’ve read? It keeps coming and coming and so forth. So either Apple is getting weaker at keeping secrets, or trolling at us.

  • Tallest_Skil

    Seriously, don’t u think something’s off with all of those ‘leaks’ we’ve read?

    No, just some of them. Apple is no better or worse at hiding things than they have ever been before.

  • Panji Hadinugraha

    No, just some of them. Apple is no better or worse at hiding things than they have ever been before.

    I agree of that too, but we’re talking about the amounts of ‘leakage’.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but there has never been this much of a ‘leaks’ compared to the leaks of iPhone 4S (and even the iPhone 4).

  • Tallest_Skil

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but there has never been this much of a ‘leaks’ compared to the leaks of iPhone 4S (and even the iPhone 4).

    We know absolutely nothing about the 6th iPhone right now. We knew everything about the hardware of the iPhone 4 except clock speeds and capacities.

    There have certainly been worse leaks in the past.

  • Singh Amardeep

    who cares what they call the new iphone? i just care how it looks like loooool

  • Shilly Devane

    does the name really affect usage? does it really freaking matter? geezuz only in a pampered and privileged 1st world do people have these “concerns”

  • Shilly Devane

    does the name really affect usage? does it really freaking matter? geezuz only in a pampered and privileged 1st world do people have these “concerns”

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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