May 11, 2013
Apple To Release The iPhone 6, If That’s What They’ll Call It
In last week’s Applesauce, I made several annoying and repetitive parenthetical statements about the name of the next iPhone.
I probably could have just named the entire article “If That’s What They’re Going to Call It.”
As stated many times before by people much smarter than I, Apple is in different position this year as they head into WWDC and heated iPhone rumors season. In previous years the company has had the good fortune of heading into an iPhone announcement knowing they were going to be top dogs no matter what they did. Android was still standing on shaky, fractured knees and BlackBerry was looking more and more like your Uncle Mort every day. In these days, tagging an “S” onto an existing iPhone title was of no real consequence. It was almost simple, like Apple’s little way of saying: “This is a faster version of last year’s model. Don’t like it? Enjoy the phone you have now or wait till next year’s model, but we really think you’ll be happy with a faster version of what you have now.”
In 2013, the “S” stands less for “Speed” and more for “stubborn,” as in Apple will stubbornly adhere to their naming conventions of old.
The naming convention in and of itself isn’t so bad, of course, but when you have competitors like HTC’s One and Samsung’s Galaxy S4, and when you have the collective eye of the tech world upon you, an iPhone 5S almost comes across as lazy, as an admittance of failure, as a final nail in Steve Jobs’ proverbial and metaphorical coffin.
It’s almost strange; a company with as much advertising savvy as Apple may have made a huge mistake in beginning the whole “S” naming thing. The S in this sense acts as a decimal point, a 1/2 if you will, something that’s only halfway better than last model.
The argument exists that the state of mobile devices is such that companies can only iterate, can only evolution-ize their products every year instead of revolutionize. I agree with this statement, but the iPhone is certainly due for some revolutionary upgrades.
Yet for all their best intentions, that “S” is stuck in the media’s mind ; we’re already calling the next phone the iPhone 5S.
One Ex-Apple advertising guru called out Apple’s iPhone naming convention last month, saying he wishes Apple never solidified the trend with the iPhone 4S.
“First of all, it’s an awkward moniker whether you speak it or read it,” says Ken Segall in his excellent blog post.
“More important, tacking an S onto the existing model number sends a rather weak message. It says that this is our “off-year” product, with only modest improvements.”
Segall’s comments have started some to wonder if the next iPhone really will be an iPhone 5S or something…different.
In fact, there’s a new rumor today which claims Apple could very well be choosing iPhone 6 over 5S for their next phone. Cult of Mac has been sent a spy shot from a Vodaphone UK employee which lists a “4G iPhone 6” in their system.
This could mean absolutely nothing, of course. As Cult of Mac points out, this could be nothing more than a placeholder placed by an unwitting middle manager that wanted to have something in the system.
Not long after Segall’s blog post began to circulate, Marco Arment, creator of popular iOS apps Instapaper and The Magazine, wrote his own post in which he agrees with Segall, noting that “Apple pessimism” is stronger than ever this year.
“Regardless of how big of an improvement the next iPhone is, Apple should just call it the iPhone 6 and give the finger to anyone who questions whether the name fits,” says Arment.
Personally, I, too, have my fingers cross for an iPhone 6 or something else entirely.
Image Credit: Cult of Mac