It's looking increasingly likely that the 2021 iPhone will be called "iPhone 13". It's what we've all been calling it anyway, but there had been some suggestions that Apple could go with "iPhone 12s" for various reasons. But if that isn't happening, it seems safe to say that the 's' year iPhones are a thing of the past.
Apple could have gone with the iPhone 12s name this year because we don't expect a big new design change. Historically, that has been a good reason for Apple to roll the 's' out, but not this year. Another reason to select the iPhone 12s name is the number 13 is considered unlucky by some.
Why does it look like we're getting iPhone 13 this year? New footage appears to show a pile of iPhone 13 Pro Max cases, complete with Apple and MagSafe branding. If legitimate — and they do appear to be — this is as good as confirmation that iPhone 13 is the name. That means it isn't iPhone 12s,
In reality, it's a good few years since we were treated to an 's' iPhone. 2018's iPhone XS was the last one. Since then, we've seen the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12. The arrival of the iPhone 13 would be a trend — and one that seems unlikely to be broken next year also. With other phone companies incrementing their digits annually, Apple likely won't want to be left behind in that regard. Of course, realistically, the numbers mean nothing, but who knows how these things play out in marketing terms.
There was once a time where people seemed to actually prefer the 's' years, with some saying it gave Apple a chance to work out the kinks of any new design before they threw down their hard-earned cash. The iPhone 6 was bendier than a bendy thing, for example. iPhone 6s, not so much. It's just one example, but it's an illustrative one.
All that really matters is that each new iPhone is the best iPhone ever, and the numbers have no bearing on that in reality. We're now just days away from when I expect Apple to announce iPhone 13 — and I, for one, can't wait.
As a reminder, the iPhone 13 event kicks off online on Tuesday, September 14, beginning at 10 a.m. EDT.