Thursday, 2 September 2010

What Will Apple Call the Next iPhone?

News travels rapidly on the internet: just weeks after the unveiling of the new iPhone 4, tech journalists and iPhone junkies alike began to think out loud about the next iPhone series, with the debate increasing to a fever pitch once reliable suggestions emerged that the iPhone could arrive as early as January 2011.

For the reason that Apple rumors now seemingly travels faster than life itself, the internet names, tags, and, keywords, things before they even exist. Because we required a word for the upcoming iPhone to be something convenient and familiar to
work with in all of the blog posts, articles, and tweets, so we selected iPhone 5. It would be wise, after all, because we've seen an iPhone 3, 3Gs, and now iPhone 4. Considering that we are currently in the iPhone 4 era, the sole keyword that would work is iPhone 5

However, do not be shocked if Apple blows us away and comes up with a new brand for the up coming iPhone that has nothing to do with numerology. Here's why:

To begin with, the numbered iPhone types got their names chiefly not by series, but by the network generation that they functioned with: the iPhone 3 aimed to further the 3G network, and the iPhone 4 did the same with the 4G network. When Apple had a new iPhone that was released between the 3G and 4G generations, it chose a middle-of-the-road series label, the 3Gs, with the "S" signifying speed, of course. Given that Apple couldn't capitalize on a new "G" it relied on "S" instead.

Standard marketing calculus.

Considering that there is no solid schedule for when the 5G network will be implemented (although some believe that it may be as late as 2020), it is unlikely that Apple would use up its iPhone 5 moniker on a 4G iPhone variation.

Secondly, if Apple indeed wishes to reveal the iPhone 5 (as we euphemistically call it) as soon as January 2011, calling it "the iPhone 5" will simply further illuminate how soon the new iPhone would be offered from the iPhone 4, thus increasing the belief that the iPhone 5 is a "fixed" model for a imperfect iPhone 4. Giving the new iPhone a less "numerical" name will let Apple to put some perceived distance between the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5.

Last but not least, Apple will also have to consider the "Droid" element in branding its next iPhone.

The iPhone brand never had a real competitor like the Droid, until this year, when the iPhone and Droid fought in the 4G Smartphone market. Sales, press, and a lot of anecdotal proof indicates that the Droid has become a practical option to the
iPhone, even for old iPhone users. Apple is positively taking the Droid products seriously and is undeniably taking the chance with an early 2011 unveiling of the iPhone 5 to compete with some of the Droid phone options that are not on the iPhone
4 (for example, a bigger screen).

Giving the new iPhone a "name" would most certainly focus Apple's marketing efforts directly on Droid and seek to create a "my Smartphone brand is cooler than yours" marketing approach for Apple. After all, it isn't as if Apple doesn't have know-how in branding their gizmos with clever names: iPod, iPod Touch, iPod Nano, iPad, and MacBook all are able to evoke the Apple brand and tell us something about the gadget, all in very miniature, compact "brand names."

If the reports of a January 2011 iPhone 5 unveiling are real, we could still be 2 or more months away from
an formal Steve Jobs announcement. Looking back at the release of the iPad, Jobs put about 2 months between the announcement and the release. While we await the new name and technology, I suppose that the "iPhone 5" keyword will be all that we'll have,
in addition to all the rumors and conjecture.

Author: Michael Nace

About the author:
Mike is a technology blogger for The iPhone 5 News Blog, a blog that covers news, rumors, and opinions about the iPhone 5.

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