Just like everyone in the media was originally referring to this year’s iPad as the iPad 3, everyone is also referring to this year’s iPhone as the iPhone 5 (including us). We also referred to last year’s iPhone as the iPhone 5 before it was released as the iPhone 4S. As you know, the “iPad 3″ does not exist. It’s “The New iPad” according to Apple who was never very good at specifying version numbers in their hardware revisions anyway.
The iPod Touch has seen several hardware revisions, but its name has never changed to indicate this. To clear up the confusion, you have to figure out which “generation” your iPod Touch is and then call it “iPod Touch 4th generation”. It is so difficult for people to identify which version of an Apple product they have based on its name or packaging that there are extensive support documents on Apple’s website intended to help you identify which product you’ve got. For example, if you’ve got an iMac, this support page will start you off with choosing a picture of what it looks like, and then walk you through other subtle hardware differences, EMC number locations, or marketing numbers that associate with a table which should help you figure out which “generation” you’ve got. If you look at the history of Apple products since the turn of the century, you’ll see that very few actually have any kind of number associated with their names.
Now let’s get back to the iPhone. Here are the names of the iPhone generations that have been released:
- 2007 - iPhone
- 2008 - iPhone 3G
- 2009 - iPhone 3Gs
- 2010 - iPhone 4
- 2011 - iPhone 4S
- 2012 - ??
There are a couple of things to note here. There was never an “iPhone 2″. The iPhone 3G was named after the network technology that it included. The only iPhone that was named for its hardware revision generation number was the iPhone 4. A 2012 iPhone will be the 6th generation iPhone, not the 5th. Given all of those facts, it really does not make sense to call the 6th generation iPhone, the “iPhone 5″.
If the next iPhone includes fourth generation “LTE” networking technology, there’s a chance that its name could get that type of designation. Would you buy the “iPhone LTE”? There’s also a chance that the next iPhone could be named in the same way as the 3rd generation iPad. Do you think Apple will simply call it “The new iPhone”? Or will they take a cue from Samsung and call it something like, “Apple iPhone Universe 4G LTE Super Retina Plus XL”?
What’s your guess as to what Apple will call this year’s new iPhone?
Image by Martin Hajek