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What if iPhone was just iPhone no matter the year?

Iphone 12 Mini Purple Back Hero
Iphone 12 Mini Purple Back Hero (Image credit: Joe Keller / iMore)

A new report today has almost three quarters of people apparently uncomfortable with the iPhone 13 name, something that could prove a problem when this fall rolls around. It's fairly obvious why that might be, with plenty of people either superstitious of the number 13 or downright afraid of it.

Triskaidekaphobia is the name given to the fear of the number 13 and it runs deeper than just thinking that the number is unlucky. Like all phobias, it's difficult to understand when it isn't something you suffer with. That makes it easy to make the obvious jokes and hopefully people will avoid doing just that. But all of that ignored for a moment, maybe this is a good time for Apple to drop the number from its iPhone lineup altogether.

Of those asked as part of the same survey, 38% said that Apple should go with iPhone (2021) this time around. It's something I've generally been against, if only because it makes my job harder. We already suffer from iPad Pro generations, as we do with the rest of the iPad lineup. Knowing which is which one thing, but expecting readers to also know is another entirely. That might be the best argument against dropping the numbers from the iPhone lineup, in fact. But in a world where Apple wants to get everyone onto the iPhone Upgrade Program, do iPhone version numbers even matter?

Iphone 13 Bronze

Iphone 13 Bronze (Image credit: EverythingApplePro)

In terms of dealing with the iPhone 13 conundrum, Apple could just skip the number altogether and move to 14. It skipped iPhone 9, after all. It won't be the pretty thing to do, but Apple will do what Apple wants to do regardless. It could kick this can down the road and go with iPhone 12s if it wanted.

Will people avoid buying iPhone 13 because of a name? I'd like to think not – after all, the number is unlikely to be printed anywhere on the box. It certainly won't be on the phone itself. In terms of day-to-day life, will it matter to even the most triskaidekaphobic out there?

That's something I can't answer, but with Apple set to announce iPhone 13 – or whatever it ends up being called – within months, you'd have to assume Apple already knows exactly that the best iPhone yet will be called. And remember, iPhone 12s still isn't out of the equation yet.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

5 Comments
  • After the disaster that was iOS 13, one would think that Apple would just skip to iPhone 14. Or go with 12s. Either would be better than tempting fate yet again.
  • Well ... if you look into survey that the "report" in question is based on, it's flawed, the actual results are *not* what they say, and it's USA only, so ... whatever. In regards the actual question of iPhone naming, I'm in favour of just "iPhone" because it's the traditional way all Apple devices were sold. The real reason that Apple doesn't do that with the iPhone & iPad however is that they rely on selling multiple iPhone/iPad models at the same time so as to make the prices (seem) more reasonable. It's when they started keeping the "old" models around to increase sales that the naming convention changed. With something like a MacBook, when the new device comes out the old device is removed from sale so there is only ever one current "MacBook." If they did that with the iPhone/iPads however, then after a few years they'd be selling multiple devices that all look very similar and all have essentially the exact same name.
  • I think it would be easier if they didn't have two phones with the same screen size (pro 6.1 and regular 6.1). I get the whole fear of the number 13 thing but it is just going to make it harder when trying to find accessories for the devices, maybe not the first year, but down the road. "Oh, what year is my phone? I need a case and not sure what to get"
  • What's the problem? Just go into settings. Then look for a case for iPhone model MG923LL/A.
  • That isn't a problem for tech-savvy people, but you shouldn't have to go into settings to figure out what phone model you have. Keep the numbers, make it easy for the middle-agers who struggle with basic tech items.