iPhone Names – It’s always nice when naming schemes are straightforward and the powers that be just slap a number onto the end of every new version of something. I mean it worked fine for the Lethal Weapon movies right.
But one very popular product lineup has been a little less than consistent. I’m talking of course about the iPhone which hasn’t had a very simple naming progression at all.
History of the iPhone (iPhone Names)
So, let’s look at a bit of history, and why Apple might have made the decisions that it did. The original iPhone’s name was a continuation of what Apple started when it released its iMac computer nine years prior with the eye insinuating Internet Internet connectivity, Wow.
So, it was a natural fit for a phone that Apple touted as being able to access the Internet seamlessly. This is just so cute in retrospect. Of course,
iPhone 2 (iPhone 3G)
The next iPhone wasn’t simply called the iPhone 2. There was no iPhone 2. In 2008 3G connectivity was relatively new so Apple saw an opportunity to highlight the new model support for it by calling it the iPhone 3G which offered much faster data speeds than the original.
iPhone 3G S
Apple’s next device was the third iPhone. But it would have sounded kind of weird to follow the iPhone 3G up with iPhone 3 or iPhone 3G 2, Final Fantasy style.
So, instead, we got the iPhone 3G S which although I’ve been holding this for a while this is actually the 3G S if the s standing for speed its network connectivity wasn’t any faster but it had a more powerful CPU.
A feature that was starting to become more important since consumers were doing more with their phones.
The succeeding iPhone 4 was named in a much more straightforward manner. After all, it was the fourth version of the iPhone but after the success of the 3G S.
The paradigm was set to use the letter s to indicate a souped-up revision of a base model phone. So in 2011, we got the iPhone 4 s, but this time the s officially stood for Siri as this was the first model to feature Apple’s virtual assistant.
Apple stuck with this tick-tock cycle for the iPhone 5 and 5 s. But this is where things took a bit of turn. The iPhone 5 s launched alongside the iPhone 5 C.
Which was a lower-end device that sold out at a lower price point an interesting move for Apple as by this point the iPhone had positioned itself as a higher-end smartphone.
The five C replaced the baseball iPhone 5 though Apple had to differentiate it from the older version without confusing it with the more souped-up S model so they stuck a C in the name.
The speculation being that the C stood for color but the phone flopped. Do consumers not particularly liking the less premium unopposed or. Less premium unapologetically plastic feel.
Leading people to joke that the sea meant cheap so Apple was done using the C suffix for the time being and the next generation brought us to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Apple is trying to make it clear that plus meant something different than S as a plus mall was mostly the same as the base iPhone 6 just with a larger screen.
This left the door wide open for Apple to give us an S revision of the iPhone 6 lineup and this is where the naming scheme started to get a little unwieldy, as iPhone 6 as plus was a bit of a mouthful.
This is also around the time when we got the first iPhone SE, which I don’t have with me today which was a much smaller and quite different internal device than the other contemporaneous models. So Apple dubbed it as a special edition.
iPhone 7/ iPhone 10
The next year we got the iPhone 7 and this is a 7 plus. But instead of then releasing a 7s. Apple bucked that trend and skipped right to the iPhone’s 8 8 plus and 10 peers at 10. This is where divining Apple’s intent gets a little more difficult.
There’s been speculation that they wanted to compete with Samsung’s s 8 and did not want to have a lower number associated with their own device.
Another speculation was that they wanted to highlight the fact that the iPhone 8 had wireless charging and that was a bigger deal than would be implied for calling it the 7 s.
Then of course you have the fact that Apple released the 10 the same year as the 8 skipping the iPhone 9 altogether.
It’s been suggested that this was for iPhone’s 10th anniversary as well as to imply a reinvented iPhone with a ton of new features like face idea.
They may have also taken a page out of Microsoft’s book as Microsoft to skip straight from Windows 8 to Windows 10 and they haven’t looked back.
Apple then went back to using the s suffix with the upgraded iPhone 10 s but also tried their hand once again at a lower cost variant with the iPhone 10 are putting a letter that’s pronounced as a no next to a letter that’s actually a letter. Cool.
However, unlike the C from the iPhone 5, C Apple said themselves that the R took inspiration from the world of high-end cars and doesn’t actually stand. For anything.
But that may have paid off well for them as the 10 are actually sold pretty good. I guess Apple learned not to make their phones out of plastic.
This is also around the time where Apple confusingly switched from using plus. To using maps.
iPhone’s 11/ iPhone’s 12
Here’s a 10 asked Max to indicate a larger-sized variant which the company seems to have settled into for the iPhone’s 11 and 12.
Oh, and they dropped the S in favor of pro like the iPhone 12pro Max and added a mini designation to indicate a smaller sized model and threw in an updated iPhone SC.
That’s just called iPhone SC
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Sources:- Apple iPhone Names