Since 2008, Apple has been used to launching its series of iPhones with consecutive numbers. And yes, we say 2008 because the original 2007 model was called “iPhone” without more, despite being popularly known as “iPhone 2G”, a name that was never official. Now, to what extent is Apple interested in changing this nomenclature? We analyze it below.
Too many iPhones and too many numbers
The number of mobile devices that we see on the market, sometimes even within the same brand (ahem, Xiaomi) can make it very difficult to distinguish between them. It has not traditionally been the case with Apple, since it had been launching 1 or 2 mobiles per year and their difference was clear: “number” and “Plus number” (for example, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus). Now however we find up to four phones per year. The latest exponents are the iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, which will be followed by the corresponding iPhone 13 from September.
If on top of that we add that sometimes ‘S’ versions come out (last case the iPhone XS) and that we also have ‘SE’ versions (Special Edition), the mess it can generate is tremendous. And we leave aside the confusion generated by the non-existence of the iPhone 9 , since from 8 it went to X and from this to XS to reach 11. And it is not that engineering is necessary to understand it, but at the marketing level this may end being a problem in the long run.
In other brands we have seen some changes such as in Huawei, who went from their P10 range to the P20, identical case to that of Samsung with its Galaxy S10 that happened to be replaced by the S20, although the latter is a separate case due to the rare that it would have been called S11 to a device that would recall the tragedy of September 11, 2001 in the United States (there it is known as S11).
Apple’s problem with removing the numbers
It sounds strange to all of us to think that there may be a day when we talk about the iPhone 25. It would not be unreasonable and would follow the same routine, however there are many who are already screeching such high numbers. In fact, there is a strong current that indicates that Apple should eliminate the numbers as it has already done in the rest of its devices, such as the iPad.
However, the case of the iPhone is different. Yes, we could differentiate them by their year of release, but that would condemn the phones to give an image of outdated phones in a very short time. This is due to the fact that Apple launches its iPhone at the end of the year, so we would find that in January (only a few months later) they would already be recognized for a year that is no longer the current one and despite being the last, it would generate a certain competitive disadvantage.
Also not calling them by their generation seems to be a feasible option. This same year, with the iPhone 13, we would not really have the thirteenth generation of iPhone, but it would be the fifteenth. Imagine that it is next year when the change occurs, wouldn’t it be weird to go from the iPhone 13 to the sixteenth-generation iPhone?
The fact that there are also more ranges with the ‘Pro’, ‘mini’, and ‘Max’ makes everything even more confusing because despite the existence of these, there is always a “standard” iPhone that does not have a surname and know it as “iPhone” to dry would also be weird. Therefore it seems that the remedy would be worse than the disease and in view of this and the low reliability of those who point to this change, it does not seem that Apple is willing to change this nomenclature in the short-medium term.