Regarding the use of the name "iPhone 5"

No one outside of Apple, and likely very few inside of Apple, if anyone at all at this early stage, knows what the 2012 iPhone will be called. For the sake of convenience and familiarity, we've been using iPhone 5 (or whatever Apple ends up calling it).

But Apple can call it anything they want. iPhone 4G. iPhone 4GS. iPhone 4GS Mark II Epic, LTE X. (Okay, that's very unlikely, but it's their phone, their name.)

There's no logical reason they couldn't call it iPhone 5 still. The model number will be 5,1 after all, and for most mainstream customers the logical number after 4 -- even after 4S -- is 5. They don't know, and don't care, what generation the device is, nor should they.

Apple doesn't really care either. They've used 3 twice and 4 twice now. They could easily use 5 twice next. They still call iOS 5 on Apple TV "software 4", after all.

Marketing has nothing to do with reality and everything to do with perception and presentation.

There will almost certainly be a new iPhone next year, but until they officially announce it and it's name, we'll be using iPhone 5.

Update: "The new iPhone."

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Regarding the use of the name "iPhone 5"


I think they should just call it an iPhone and lose the number. You don't see the iPod with a number or MacBook pro 7, the number and letter ruin it.

Eventually they will, but I'd be willing to bet it the next phone will have a 5 at the end of the name.

I agree with bigbowlofjelly. Consumers don't care what number it is. They just care that it's new and / or better than the previous iPhone. This numbers game is getting silly.

Agreed. I have people asking me about the iPhone 4GS all the time. Its a way to give the products some differentiation though because as of right now there are a total of 3 iPhone models being sold.

It's going to be the 6th generation of the iPhone.
The original iPhone was the first of course, but people calling it 2G was the beginning of the confusion. The 2nd generation made it complicated because some people thought it's the 3rd generation. Apple uses 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, 6G for indicating the generation of the iPod models.
2007 iPhone was 1st,
2008 iPhone 3G was 2nd,
2009 iPhone 3GS was 3rd,
2010 iPhone 4 was 4th,
2011 iPhone 4S was 5th,
2012 iPhone will be the 6th generation.

took the words out my mouth... which is fortunate cause I wasn't quite sure how to arrange them.
I think they would be wise to forgo a number altogether. Maybe call it iPhone change (to represent the likely NFC capability and symbolise moving on)

I agree, come here for the useful and informative stuff. Not for page filling crap and vapid articles about nothing. Guess its better than "Siri can turn on your oven" posts that have been popping up everyday.

There was never an iPhone 3. The "3G" in the name of the second iPhone stands for UMTS. "iPhone 5" is very unlikely as the name of the sixth iPhone and could be in fact a synonym for the iPhone 4S. So I don't think it make sense for you to refer to the next generation by "iPhone 5".

I don't think Apple will use iPhone 5 for the 6th generation handset. It will be either iPhone 6 or iPhone 4G

As a marketing professional, I take severe umbrage with the phrase "Marketing has nothing to do with reality and everything to do with perception and presentation." You are aware that your reality is based on your perception of things, right? And that plenty of marketing is grounded in quantitative analysis of consumer behavior? That marketing != advertising?

The morons will lose their shit if Apple releases "another 4". No way is it the 4G, and it won't be the 5th phone, so I can't see Apple naming the phone as such. If I had to bet, if the phone is 4G LTE compatible it will be the iPhone LTE, with future models being called just "iPhone".


Yes they can call it iPhone 6 . After all , final cut pro gone from version 7 to version 10. Did people asked where version 8 and 9 went? No.
Anyway with the new iPad I think they're gonna remove numbers too get to the device name itself and yes people check generation models to compare themselfves or just to know if it's a 1 year old phone or the brand new one.