Originally Posted by stelligent
First, Apple currently sells two phones: iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS. So they can continue this:iPhone 5 and iPhone 4. The difference this time *may* be that, unlike past years, they will actually modify the iP4 slightly and so a slightly modified name is warranted.
Only if they add the A5 to the iPhone 4 form factor. That's basically the only thing that warrants a name change. For the 3GS, Apple created a new SKU in 2010 by creating a previously non-existing 8 GB iPhone 3GS. They continue to sell that today.
However, adding the A5 to a prospective low end phone (the $99 w/contract version) could cause marketing confusion, not to mention margins either. If past performance is an indicator, Apple will simply create an 8 GB iPhone 4 and sell it as the low end $99 w/contract model, while the next gen iPhone becomes the high end device.
I still find the fact that this marketing strategy actually works amazing. Just crazy. People are saving 5% of the cost over a 2 year contract. There should be no reason whatsoever for anyone to go with the $99 option unless it comes with a cheaper service contract. Crazy.
Third, Apple is not brilliant when it comes to naming products - they prefer simplicity.
You got this wording incorrect. Apple is brilliant at naming products. The best in the business.
I agree there is no way they'd present only an iPhone 4S as a follow-up, but presenting an iPhone 5 along with an iPhone 4S would not be inconsistent with their history. In fact, they will likely not spend much time talking about the 4S. Not saying this is a sure thing, but saying instead that you risk eating words by stating with conviction that there's no such thing as 4S.
If the next gen iPhone is an iPhone 4 with A5 guts, plus other features like 8 MP cam and Assistant, yeah, they be talking about it all day, everyday for a year.
The camera sensor is an interesting discussion point in guessing size. We know that the 5MP sensor has shrunk in size. But how thick is the 8 MP sensor? Well, the Galaxy SII has a 8MP sensor, and is a full mm thinner than the iP4 (but Samsung does not always use the thinnest part of its phones as the thickness spec).
As per a thread from awhile back about the UK advertising board allowing Apple to market the iPhone 4 as the thinnest smartphone in the UK, the GSII indeed is thicker than the iPhone 4 due to the camera bump and the bulge at the bottom.