If you are reading this, then it probably means that you are convinced that the next iPhone — the one that will be released sometime in 2012 — will not be called “iPhone 5,” but rather “iPhone 6.” I know, I know — you have facts on your side: the next iPhone will be the 6th generation iPhone. Hence: iPhone 6.
And for as much as your logic and taxonomy is 100% correct, I am sorry to say that the 2012 iPhone will not be called “iPhone 6.” It will be the iPhone 5.
First off, Apple has already twice bucked the trend of naming their iPhones based on their generations. Cases in point: the second generation iPhone was called the “iPhone 3G,” and the fifth-generation iPhone was the “iPhone 4S.” The simple fact that Apple was willing to call their fifth-generation iPhone the “4S” — especially considering that it comes equipped with iOS 5 and the A5 chip — proves that their numbering and naming process has nothing to do with the iPhone’s generation. Think about it: last year’s iPhone was “555″ — that would have been a marketing slam-dunk. Apple passed on it.
However, even though Apple passed on the “iPhone 5″ name in 2011 doesn’t mean that they will squander it in 2012. We’ve learned through all of the iPhone iterations that Cupertino doesn’t change the number unless they are ready to seriously overhaul the iPhone from the outside in. And this time around, it appears that they will be dramatically changing the form factor and screen size; it will be an iPhone with a completely different look and feel.
In addition, there is so much pent-up iPhone 5 buzz in the media and consumer circles that Apple would be crazy to skip over the “iPhone 5″ name. Heck, an entire subculture has risen up around the dream of a groundbreaking iPhone 5. Apple will not squander the opportunity to channel the excitement and anticipation that comes with that name.
If Apple were to skip the “iPhone 5″ name and go directly to the “correct” iPhone 6, it would be confusing and disconcerting for the average iPhone user. Sure, you understand why the 2012 iPhone should be called “iPhone 6.” But you are not the average iPhone user; you are here, on the iPhone 6 News Blog, searching for the latest-breaking stories about it. But the majority of average Joe customers would think that they had black out for a year of their lives, and somehow managed to miss the release of the iPhone 5. Apple would never try to confuse the general public to that degree, just to keep true with the proper generation of iPhones.
So, how about another name other than “iPhone 5″ or “iPhone 6?”
That possibility is actually much more plausible — especially the suggestions that the next iPhone could be called the “iPhone 4G” or “iPhone 4GS,” thinking that Apple may want to include “4G” in its iPhone name in order to promote their first LTE smartphone. The question is, would Apple name a third iPhone with a “4?” In marketing terms, the “4″ is most likely spend by this point. And although the “iPhone 5″ name would be available down the line, it would have fizzled by then.
Chances are, we will see an “iPhone 5″ in 2012. In the meantime, we’ll use this blog to look ahead to some of the next-generation technology that could find its way onto the iPhone 6.
By Michael Nace