Page 2 – The Tech News Debris for the Week of September 5th
Is Apple’s iPhone Naming Scheme a Mistake or Genius?
It’s true that there are logical dilemmas with Apple’s iPhone naming scheme over the years. Apple has never formally explained the reasoning for its nomenclature, and so journalists have taken their best shot at explaining the logic of the “S” years and the contrived, presumed “tick-tock” cycle. Then, when Apple breaks the mold, the analysis gets even more confusing.
Perhaps Apple delights in this. After all, the average customer seldom inquires deeply into the iPhone names. All they know is that the iPhone 7 is newer and better than the iPhone 6s.
Marketing is Everything
However. From a purely marketing and logical standpoint, one can argue that the naming system, over the years, is manifestly illogical and counter-productive. This is what Ken Segall claims in: “Apple’s self-inflicted naming dilemma.” Choice words:
Even when an S model introduces a breakthrough feature, it comes in the context of “this is an off-year.” I’m trying to think of any marketer who has ever chosen such a course before, but I’m coming up blank.
This entire conversation wouldn’t even exist had Apple chosen a simpler path at the start, or did a mid-course correction years ago. Just imagine if every model was judged on its merits, without any pre-conceptions about major and minor years.
My own thinking is that Ken is right in principle. In an alternate universe, Apple might have chosen a simple, logical sequence: Apple iPhone model 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8…. over the years. But then, a certain dash of playfulness and irrationality does give us something to write about. If Apple can keep us puzzling and talking about model numbers, maybe that’s the marketing angle right there.
Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble on page one) followed on page two by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holidays.