A massive 74% of people surveyed think Apple’s next iPhone should be called something other than “iPhone 13.” And triskaidekaphobia — aka fear of the number 13 — could stop one in five Apple users from buying the next-gen smartphone if it bears that name.
SellCell surveyed 3,000 Apple users in the United States this month, asking what name they would rather Apple uses. While “iPhone 13” scored 26% of the vote, the winning entry is the clean, simple-sounding “iPhone.”
Do I really think that 18.3% of prospective customers (that’s tens of millions of iPhones) would avoid buying the new iPhone because it’s named “iPhone 13”? Not really. This year’s iPhone, while not likely to bring a big overhaul, nonetheless promises lots of exciting new elements.
Previous rumors indicate the iPhone 13 (or whatever Apple calls it) will boast a faster A15 chip, a smaller notch, a silky-smooth ProMotion display (at least on the Pro models), a bigger battery, a new matte black color, LiDAR on all models and a possible 1TB storage option. It’s hard to imagine too many people turning down the prospect of those upgrades just because they don’t like the name. Despite what the SellCell survey might suggest.
What should Apple call its next iPhone?
However, the “13” could certainly prove off-putting to some users. Between 9% and 10% of Americans reportedly feel uneasy about the number 13. That definitely could translate into a certain number of lost sales — even if it’s highly unlikely it would be one in five.
Nonetheless, there’s no immediately obvious choice for what Apple could call this year’s iPhone. Calling it the iPhone 12S would be in keeping with some of Apple’s naming strategies from the past. But it would also just kick the can down the road in terms of the need for an iPhone 13.
Calling it the iPhone 14 would be confusing since it would skip a number. Apple did just that in the past, though: No “iPhone 9” was released because Cupertino jumped from the iPhone 8 to the iPhone X to mark the smartphone’s 10-year anniversary.
Naming this year’s model the “iPhone 21” would make sense in terms of the date of release. But it would be confusing, since it would skip nine numbers from the iPhone 12. Since the iPhone would launch at the tail end of 2021, using that name would also immediately date the device.
My favorite idea would be to call the new handset the “iPhone,” plain and simple. Whether that’s what Apple would opt to do remains to be seen, though.
What do you think Apple should do when it comes to naming the next-gen iPhone? Would you be put off buying a device called the iPhone 13? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.