How does '4S' even make sense for the new iPhone?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by luked14, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. luked14 macrumors 6502

    Aug 1, 2010
    Since recent rumors point to Apple keeping the iPhone 4 design for this year's iPhone, the consensus seems to be that it will be called '4S'. The leaked packaging label yesterday seems to be the most substantial evidence (if it's not fake).

    With this being said, what would Apple's logic be for naming it the iPhone 4S? The 3GS made more sense because both the '3G' and the 'S' referred to features and had nothing to do with the generation of the phone. Since Apple changed the precedent with the iPhone 4 to name it based on generation, '4S' would be out of line. Combining generation with a feature is rather confusing. Next year's iPhone could not be called iPhone 5 because it would be the 6th generation iPhone.

    Most importantly, why can't Apple drop numbers and just refer to it as the 'new iPhone'? It would make sense to say "I have the 2011 iPhone" just like we say "I have the 2011 MacBook Pro."
  2. Invincibilizer macrumors 6502a


    Aug 18, 2011
    It doesn't make sense.

    Only way there will be 4S if there is a 5.

    4S by itself just doesn't work.
  3. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I am really not concerned with the name at all
    They can call it whatever they want
  4. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    May 13, 2010
    They can call it as iPhone 4U

    Name doesn't matter. People will still buy them.
  5. Nachoconqueso macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2011
  6. FSMBP macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2009
    Probably because they have been selling two generations of iPhone at the same time. And they most likely don't want people to refer to the previous generation as "old iPhone".

    Dropping the number makes sense if they only actively sell one model at a time (ex. iPad). Also, why couldn't they add the "S"? Not that I want them to, but the "S" in 3GS stood for "Speed" - if the next iPhone has an updated processor/RAM, it would still make sense.
  7. Muad'Dib macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2010
    Makes perfect sense if naming is based on the form factor. An iPhone 4 with some slight changes would be a 4S. Pretty simple concept.

    You ASSUME the iPhone 4 was adjusted to match the generation. That could have been a complete coincidence. Apple has never told us "we are now using X naming structure". Anything you see saying it is a certain way is nothing more than speculation.
  8. luked14 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 1, 2010
    Coincidence? "Today we are releasing the iPhone 4, the 4th generation iPhone." - Steve Jobs at WWDC 2010. Apple didn't say they would name all future iPhones based on generation, but there is no question that was the intent with the iPhone 4.
  9. Muad'Dib macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2010
    I don't see the intention. I see 2 statements that could allow others to draw a conclusion but don't lock Apple into a standard.

    I'll admit you could in fact be correct. But that doesn't mean Apple couldn't change their mind. Or never meant it in the first place.

    Edit: What other product does Apple number? Do we have any other reference to back up this naming scheme?
  10. Sedrick macrumors 68030


    Nov 10, 2010
    It's clear no one knows what the hell's going on, what's being released or what it/they will be called. One thing's for sure, it it's only a 4"s", Apple is going to look like a fool and I predict the honeymoon will be over.
  11. Lukkee24 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2011
    Apple haven't announced anything yet so we don't know what it will be called. It's only rumours that it could be a 4S/5/both but the names could be different for all we know.
  12. dime21 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    I hope they go back a number. The new one should be called the Iphone 3GS2.
  13. coasterswim macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008
    Exactly. The iPhone 3GS was an "S" version of the iPhone 3G just like an iPhone 4S would be an "S" version of the iPhone 4.
  14. Richie2000 macrumors 6502


    Jul 10, 2010
    West Sussex UK
    I think we are seeing Apple continuing with their two tier iPhone offering, but now the entry model is going to be the current iPhone beefed up to stay ahead of the competitions lower end models. The industry is moving too fast and the competition has closed the gap on Apple now so a single model can't remain competitive in the market for nearly 2 years without a spec boost. This model then becomes the S and as others have said this prevents it being referred to as the old iPhone. The new incoming model carries the next number designation and is aligned to the iOS release in next weeks case the 5.

    3GS & 4 current
    4S & 5 as of Tuesday
    5S & 6 next release and so on....

    I think Apple will always move heaven and earth to keep the new release under wraps and as we have seen this year the beefed up components of the updated current model will pop up here and there to get us all talking and speculating.

    I am convinced there will be an iPhone 5 by end of day Tuesday alongside an improved 4 (S) and once again Apple will have made a lot of people very happy and more importantly keen to be first in line to buy one or other.

    Hope I am right :)
  15. luked14 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 1, 2010
    This is what I'm hoping for as well. In order for Apple to continue their role as industry leader, they will need to do this. It's a very optimistic outlook, and if you're right we'll all be happy come Tuesday!
  16. cward0715 macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2010
    Regardless of wheat Apple announces on Tuesday, they have done an amazing job at keeping everyone guessing.
  17. APlotdevice macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2011
    1st generation iPhone = iPhone
    2nd generation iPhone = iPhone 3G = 3G cellular technology
    3rd generation iPhone = iPhone 3GS = 3G cellular technology and speed upgrade
    4th generation iPhone = iPhone 4 = 4th generation iPhone
    5th generation iPhone = iPhone 4s = 4th generation iPhone and speed upgrade???
  18. Number 41 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2009
    It'd at least be honest on Apple's part -- they're giving us a fake upgrade, it'd be intellectually dishonest to pass off some spec bumping as the "iPhone 5."

    (waiting for the spec-nerds to downgrade this post because it's so important to have a phone with an A20 processor and seventy cores that can do 80 billion polygons per second, or whatever else nonsense)
  19. Snoudel macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2011
    HAHAHAHA iPhone 4U would be the best name!
  20. Richie2000 macrumors 6502


    Jul 10, 2010
    West Sussex UK
    I agree. They absolutely need to do this and I am inclined to think that if they only had a 4S for Tim Cook to present, they would be holding a very different event. I know the products will have been planned for months before Steve stepped down as CEO and his health deteriorating was largely unpredictable, but the new CEO is as much in the spotlight as the iPhone on Tuesday. Without a surprise element up their sleeve I think they would have made the keynote more focused on the iOS 5 release (even though they have covered this already) and the iPods, with the iPhone being an aside. With a 4S and 5 to showcase everyone is happy and the new CEO has won the hearts and minds of the fan base into the bargain!
  21. oplix Suspended


    Jun 29, 2008
    New York, NY
    Why it doesn't make sense for iPhone "4S"

    The 3GS was known as a transitional upgrade for the iphone 3G. The 3GS suffered battery problems. The iPhone 4 suffered a plethora of hardware related issues. I think that just naming it an iPhone 5 will make a lot more sense than making an indirect connection to devices which have/had problems when they came out. Also, psychologically if you have owned an iPhone 4, you would think that an iPhone 4S is the same iPhone 4 with upgraded parts. It will not initially seem like a worthwhile investment. However, if Apple anticipates to dominate sales charts when the new phone comes out, they want everyone to buy/upgrade right away. Naming it iPhone 5 just makes it sound new because it has no relation to the iPhone 4.

    Just a though.
  22. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    Honestly, I think millions of people will buy it just because it is a new iPhone.
  23. TheSuperSteve macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2011
    Puerto Rico
    You make some good points but you gotta remember that the iPhone "4S" name is just a rumor name. No one knows what the "upgraded iPhone 4" would be named so seeing at the 3G to 3GS upgrade thing is a logical conclusion to arrive at "4S".

    It doesn't make it real. Only Apple knows what such a device would be called.
  24. Sedrick macrumors 68030


    Nov 10, 2010
    What you say makes perfect sense and I hope you're right. Of course this is Apple we're talking about and they tend to operate in their own bubble, so who knows. 5 more days...
  25. JCCL macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2010
    I think Even if it is an upgraded iPhone 4, it will be named iPhone 5, just as the 3G can be considered iPhone 2 and 3GS iPhone 3. They did this to simplify the naming, so I don't think the would go back to 4S and stuff like that.

    If there are two iPhones, that makes it harder ....but we'll see, only a 4.5 days away!

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