iPhone Naming Pattern Sends Wrong Message, Brand Consultant Says

Apple’s iPhone naming pattern isn’t up to the company’s standards for simplicity and clear message delivery and it confuses consumers – or so says Ken Segall, a creative director who has a long history with Apple and NeXT.

From his perspective – and you can agree or disagree with him – the naming conventions of the iPhone, Apple’s best selling product, works to some extent but comes with certain complications in terms of clarity.

The reason: When the new model is launched, two previous models are still sold on the market, so there has to be some distinguishing element. To achieve that Apple has used the numbering system.

However, what confuses the consumer – according to Ken Segall – is adding an S to the existing model. “Tacking an S onto the existing model number sends a rather weak message. It says it this is our ‘off-year’ product, with only modest improvements.”

“The press has already dubbed this year’s model “iPhone 5S.” Most experts see a narrative in which Apple only produces a major upgrade every other year, and in between we get the “S” model. This is the model that delivers only incremental improvements.”

“Whether that’s Apple’s intended message is unknown. But personally, I wish Apple never created a ‘4S.'”

To address this issue, “Apple should give each new iPhone a new number,” he says “and let the improvements speak for themselves,” because he just can’t understand the “S” message. Instead, the difference is obvious between 5 and 6.

What do you think? Did the “S” send the “off-year product” message to you when you bought an S (3GS, 4S) device?

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