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Former Apple consultant: Apple's iPhone naming conventions send 'weak message' - Page 3

post #81 of 199

You know what they say: "Don't buy the first version of something, wait for a revision/update".

 

While between geeks like us we have to remind ourselves about it, the reality is that most consumers also have figured out the same thing by themselves. The second, improved version of something is usually the most popular.

 

There's a lot of people currently interested in the current iPhone 5 that will see the 5S as a bonus and a signal that the time has come for them to take a dive and buy an iPhone.

 

Apple also invests a lot of time and money in new manufacturing methods for the iPhone back casing, and they usually have problems keeping up with the initial demand because of low yields in the first model using this new process (like the iPhone 4).

 

It's not that they're bad at it, it's just that Ive seems to like to push the envelope in term of manufacturing precision using metals and unconventional techniques. Most other manufacturers just change the plastic mold for the back casing when they want to make a big generational change.

 

Because the iPhone 5 casing is now much easier for Apple to produce, they'll be able to launch the 5S in many more countries while still meeting demand, just like the 4S.

post #82 of 199
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
With the iPhone there is a counter argument that rarely applies to Macs. When a new Mac model is out they almost always remove the old model immediately, but with the iPhone they have continued to manufacturer and sell as *new* the older models since the iPhone 3G. The iPad has been sold the same way since the original save for the iPad 3 which was immediately removed when the iPad 4 was introduced. That said, I don't see it as an issue but I can certainly understand why someone at Apple might take issue with it.

 

Since the iPad 2 is still available, I'm just not sure I can agree with the "old models are confusing" theory anymore. Apple is fine with selling a "2" that is worse than a "  ". The iPad has proven that, so even the transition from numbered to unnumbered iPhones will be smooth. And then thereafter it's just three models of iPhone at different prices with slower to faster hardware.

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post #83 of 199
"Yeah, it's the most popular phone in the world. But you're doing it wrong!!!!!!"

Even if they went forward, imagine the backlash of people picking up the 'new' iPhone 6 which looks exactly like the iPhone 5. "WTF are they trying to pull, you can even tell a difference to the iPhone it replaces!!"

The S moniker communicates something important. The form factor is the same. But the stuff on the inside is different. I think the iPhone model names are accurate and communicate the changes to the customer. Unlike crap names like "ice cream sandwich" and "jelly bean".

Give me a break.
post #84 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Since the iPad 2 is still available, I'm just not sure I can agree with the "old models are confusing" theory anymore. Apple is fine with selling a "2" that is worse than a "  ". The iPad has proven that, so even the transition from numbered to unnumbered iPhones will be smooth. And then thereafter it's just three models of iPhone at different prices with slower to faster hardware.

1) Note that I said I can see why that would be an issue for some at Apple, not that I see it as an issue.

2) If the only differentiator of newer v. older was just the name then iPad 2 would seem to be newer than simply iPad, but lets remember the post-iPad 2 models have a Retina display which is highly marketed, highly desired, and very noticeable when you compare the two. But let's acknowledge they didn't step down to simply iPad for the 3rd and 4th gen models, but use The New iPad and iPad with Retina display, respectively.

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post #85 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post

Steve Jobs started that to make people concentrate on how thin the device is.  It was his way of getting people to focus on the "thinness" of the device instead of just saying it is x mm thick.  I think it is actually quite a smart marketing idea.
I get why they want to focus on thin, but using the word "only" already implies something is smaller, shorter, thinner, narrower, etc. than expected. If you were measuring something you wouldn't say it's 4 inches thin, just like you wouldn't say it's a 4 inches narrow, or someone is 6 feet short.
post #86 of 199

I agree and disagree.  the iPhone 4S has been the best selling single model smartphone, so it didn't too badly. Sometimes I feel it's the model that should have been released as the next generation, but it wasn't ready in time.

 

From my point of view, I think if every generation release they would update all of the guts and offered it in 3 different screen sizes, and then pushed down the other models down in price.  That would give choices and keep up to date as to the processor, RAM, etc.

 

I think Apple should have released a 3.5 inch, 4inch and a 4.5inch or slightly larger and called them all the iPhone 5 and then designate mini, regular and pro models or something along those lines depending on the screen size. And maybe had a $50 or so price difference depending on the screen size.

post #87 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Euphonious View Post

I don't believe that you can't perceive how the typical consumer would see a change from 4 to 6. Step out of the bubble.
hence Apple calling it iPhone 5. Just like they called the smaller iPad iPad mini and not iPad air or iPad nano. iPhone 5 and iPad mini were already ingrained in people's minds, so why confuse them with a different name? Plus wasn't the iPhone 3G the 2nd gen iPhone? Apple didn't call it iPhone 2 with 3G, or iPhone 2nd gen with 3G.
post #88 of 199
Originally Posted by Euphonious View Post
For goodness' sake, start thinking about this like a typical consumer rather than somebody who posts on an Apple enthusiast forum.


I am. And provided examples thereof. Why didn't you read my posts?


What would seem absurd to the general population is calling a product 'iPhone 6' when the last product was the 4S.

 

iPhone. iPhone 3G. 


HUH.


People may have short memories, but they do know how to count to 6 without missing numbers out.

 

"Where's the iPhone 2?! What happened to the iPhone 2?!" Said no one. Ever. It was called "iPhone 2" until the real name was revealed. Then everyone instantly got over it. Go look at news articles from the month before and the month after the 3G's launch.

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post #89 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Apple's neither the only nor the first to do that. And I like it. Normally it's used in the "get thinner to the point of anorexia" society, but that it's being made a focus in the consumer computing market (where, while the internal focus has always been on 'faster-smaller-cheaper', the external had been BEIGEBOXLOOKATMYHEAVYMETAL before Apple) is a pretty smart marketing move.
no it makes zero sense. Do you ever hear short people say "I'm only 5 feet short?" Or if you're measuring something do you say it's x inches narrow? Or a pool is 12 feet shallow? Of course not.
post #90 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


no it makes zero sense. Do you ever hear short people say "I'm only 5 feet short?" Or if you're measuring something do you say it's x inches narrow? Or a pool is 12 feet shallow? Of course not.

Of course not, but it'd still be grammatically correct, no?

post #91 of 199
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
no it makes zero sense.

 

So to specifically highlight the thinness of a product, we're supposed to use "thick"? How does that make sense?

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post #92 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


I am. And provided examples thereof. Why didn't you read my posts?

iPhone. iPhone 3G. 


HUH.

"Where's the iPhone 2?! What happened to the iPhone 2?!" Said no one. Ever. It was called "iPhone 2" until the real name was revealed. Then everyone instantly got over it. Go look at news articles from the month before and the month after the 3G's launch.
Seriously dude no one gives a shit that iPhone 5 is really the 6th version of the phone. Just like they didn't care that the second version wasn't called iPhone 2. Just like no one cares that HTC went from the One X to the One.
post #93 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So to specifically highlight the thinness of a product, we're supposed to use "thick"? How does that make sense?
That's what the word ONLY is for! One of the definitions for only: used for emphasizing that an amount, number, size, age, percentage etc is small or smaller than expected
post #94 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

Of course not, but it'd still be grammatically correct, no?
Maybe but it sounds stupid to me. If Apple said the iPad mini is only 7mm thick I think most people would get that means its really thin.
post #95 of 199
Face it his 3 minute of fame was over for a long time and nothing he said now make any difference.
post #96 of 199
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
Seriously dude no one gives a shit that iPhone 5 is really the 6th version of the phone. Just like they didn't care that the second version wasn't called iPhone 2.

 

You're making my argument for me.


Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
Maybe but it sounds stupid to me. If Apple said the iPad mini is only 7mm thick I think most people would get that means its really thin.
 

So people are "stupid" and "don't care", except where you need them to for your argument?

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post #97 of 199
Porsche started the 911 in 1964. They still sell it under same name and never increased to 912.
Is this a weak naming ?

More the S models are indeed off year models, improved but sharing common design, which is an important setup cost reduction. This is in fact one of the key advantages of Apple vs Samesung which spew a variant every quarter.

So Apple simply dont lie to its customers (at least on that important point), which is perhapa why satisfaction rates are tru the roof.
post #98 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

His argument doesn't make sense. We know that the models don't use years in the designation so what if they call it a 4, 4S, 5, or 5S. They still find plenty of buyers and have difficulty keeping up with demand. The jump from a 4 to a 4S was significant. I expect the 5S to be just as significant.

Maybe Apple just lays out what they bring in the numerical releases, and the S version is mostly a software polish version. Hence the "S".

Except in reality the 4 to 4S was as much an upgrade in hardware as it was an upgrade in software which sort of destroys your 'maybe' logic.

Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

 

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post #99 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

They don't send a "weak" message they send an accurate message. An "S" version of the iPhone is traditionally a relatively minor upgrade. This guy seems to like to over-market things which disappoints customers.


Hahahahaha
post #100 of 199

The article is right.  The S thing is not awesome.  Every time an "S" version comes out there are stories on the evening news about "the 'real' version X+1 will be coming out later."  That affects some people's buying decisions.  Just like more people would by "New Software 5!" than "New Software 4.1!"

 

Having said that, naming/branding is hard, and since it takes a name to beat a name, and he doesn't offer an alternative, who cares?

 

And who here would be shocked if the next iPhone ISN'T the 5S?  It probably will be, but it could be the 6; it could be the "iPhone;" it could be "iPhone zeta."  We'll find out soon enough.  Most people will buy it based on the specs alone, but some will be influenced (directly or indirectly) by the name.

post #101 of 199
Originally Posted by malax View Post
Every time an "S" version comes out there are stories on the evening news about "the 'real' version X+1 will be coming out later."

 

Every time a new number is released, people whine "Wait for the next number!" That's not valid.


That affects some people's buying decisions.

 

Yeah, morons who decide to go without a new phone for an entire year when they need one. No one intelligent enough to make his own buying decisions, at least.


Most people will buy it based on the specs alone…

 

The average consumer has come pretty far in that regard. They should be lauded.

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post #102 of 199
There is, of course, the possibility that Apple goes with the 'S' naming in their 'off years' to deliberately lower expectations of a speed-bump device. This also allows them to improve the internals without having to re-tool the whole assembly process every 9 months. If the iPhone 4S had been called the iPhone 5, guess what everyone would have said .... "Looks just the same as the previous model, I was expecting something totally different, how is this a version 5?".
post #103 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Please explain how the 4S was a "minor upgrade" to the 4?

The keyword is "relatively". To me the iPhone 3G to iPhone 4 difference was much greater than the iPhone 3GS. To me the iPhone 4 to iPhone 5 difference was much greater than iPhone 4S. Just my opinion about the overall experience. I have owned every model of iPhone. People screamed and complained with disappointment in this forum the day the iPhone 4S was released. It was a cry fest. Not the same reaction with the iPhone 5.
Edited by jd_in_sb - 4/6/13 at 9:46pm

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post #104 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukefrench View Post

Porsche started the 911 in 1964. They still sell it under same name and never increased to 912.
Is this a weak naming ?

Too bad TS wasn't on Porsche Insider back then, because the six-cylinder 911 was released along with the four-cylinder 912.

German car companies frequently stuck to "weak branding," in Segall's terms: nothing but numbers and letters. They assumed the buyer would be intelligent enough to discriminate and not be swayed by stupid brand names.

Same with Apple. No Inspirons, no Envys, no Galaxys. Does Segall want his job back?
post #105 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Since the iPhone 3GS, Apple has introduced an "S" model every other year. 

"Every other year"?

Since the iPhone 3GS, it has happened once (the 4S).

post #106 of 199
The last paragraph pretty much sums up this guys whole argument. Pointless. The S versions are generally a more refined version of the year before, with better software and maybe a few better hardware features. If you look back on it, the 3Gs, first to take on the S moniker, is probably apples longest selling iphone to date. Apple gets more experimental with software on the S versions. I'd take an iPhone 4S over an iPhone 4 any day and the same will go for the 5S when it's released.
post #107 of 199

Not really.

 

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19512_7-20114949-233/iphone-4-vs-iphone-4s-comparison-chart/

 

It was the same enclosure with the same dimensions. Slightly better camera, better processor, and they did away with the 8GB version.  That's a minor upgrade.  The iPhone 5 was the major upgrade as we all know.  The software on the other hand brought Siri to the 4S which I consider a major upgrade.  I use it everyday and with each new iOS release it gets better and better.  

 

I expect the 5S to have the same enclosure, new processor, camera hardware improvements, and a major update to iOS.  The iPhone following next year (i.e. the iPhone 6) will have a new enclosure.  The engineering to fit all the components into an enclosure the way Apple does is difficult.  Once they figure it out and do it then to swap out components such as a camera and processor is simple.  I'm sure the battery improvement of the 4S over the 4 was all software related.

post #108 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

Not really.

 

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19512_7-20114949-233/iphone-4-vs-iphone-4s-comparison-chart/

 

It was the same enclosure with the same dimensions. Slightly better camera, better processor, and they did away with the 8GB version.  That's a minor upgrade.  The iPhone 5 was the major upgrade as we all know.  The software on the other hand brought Siri to the 4S which I consider a major upgrade.  I use it everyday and with each new iOS release it gets better and better.  

 

I expect the 5S to have the same enclosure, new processor, camera hardware improvements, and a major update to iOS.  The iPhone following next year (i.e. the iPhone 6) will have a new enclosure.  The engineering to fit all the components into an enclosure the way Apple does is difficult.  Once they figure it out and do it then to swap out components such as a camera and processor is simple.  I'm sure the battery improvement of the 4S over the 4 was all software related.

 

I expect them to bump the thickness a bit, add more battery capacity and add more GPGPU cores on the new SoC chipset now that the process is dropping in size by TSMC and GF. And they can make the phone a bit wider. Moving the width back to the 3GS size and the thickness back to around .42in allows for better venting and makes the phone feel like it isn't such a pissant little utlrathin product.
post #109 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik View Post

So, this guy launched a more popular product that the iPhone? Please tell us more about it.

Ken Segall is one of the most respected people in advertising and has helped Apple in the past (including its legendary Think Different campaign). His opinion is legitimate, even if you disagree with it. 

The "S" designation was fine early on - but mainstream folks are privy to Apple rumors and upgrade cycles now. An "S" label pretty much means "There's a bigger upgrade coming next year; wait for that one". I'm curious what this year will bring though. Processors and cameras have reached a very high, satisfactory level. 

Biometric scanner? NFC? I doubt there will be a redesign. 

post #110 of 199
His points are valid. The naming system has been messy. The S moniker has always seemed to denote a minor upgrade. Has it hurt sales? We'll never know, but creating confusion or doubt certainly won't help sales.
post #111 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

"Brand consultant."

 

Do I take it that putting this title in quotes you have no respect for the work that these people do? Or have you just never heard of the title before?

post #112 of 199

Actually, Apple's naming of the iPhone does make some sense, given that people are signing up to 18/24 month contracts -- you buy either the iPhone(n) or iPhone(n)S, skip the next gen and go for the one after when your contract is up for renewal. Heck, I have a rolling contract (no fixed terms for me) and went iPhone 1, 3GS, 4S, skipped the plain-vanilla 3 and 4.

 

The "Brand Consultant" brought up the naming of the "New iPad" -- well, Apple should go with

 

NiP = New iPhone

NNiP = New New iPhone

VNiP = Very New iPhone

VVNiP = Very Very New iPhone

 

There -- that covers the next four releases and sounds much better.


Edited by sip - 4/7/13 at 1:56am
post #113 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Brother 84 View Post

His points are valid. The naming system has been messy. The S moniker has always seemed to denote a minor upgrade. Has it hurt sales? We'll never know, but creating confusion or doubt certainly won't help sales.

I don't think the iPhone naming system is confusing at all. There's always one current iPhone for sale... and 2 more (last year's and the year before)

Sometimes the current model has an "S" and other times it doesn't. But that shouldn't matter. All you need to be aware of is which one is the newest... and that the older ones follow behind it.

When the iPhone 4 came out... it was the newest iPhone. When the iPhone 4S came out... it was the newest iPhone. When the iPhone 5 came out... it was the newest iPhone... and so on. And considering the hoopla that surrounds every iPhone launch... people should be aware of the newest model.

You either buy the latest and greatest current iPhone... or you can pick up an older model for cheaper price. Simple... no confusion, no doubt.

A better way to describe it is "Good, Better, Best"

Right now the lineup goes: iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5

And soon the lineup will be: iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPhone 5S

I don't see what's so confusing about that. You'll see all 3 models on display at your carrier store... or on the Apple website.

You're right... the "S" denotes a minor update. The iPhone 3GS was an updated iPhone 3G... the 4S was an updated iPhone 4... and the 5S will be an updated iPhone 5

That actually makes perfect sense. 1wink.gif
post #114 of 199
The naming seems simple and to the point. I agree with zoffdino, they should have kept the iPad naming. This guy Segall sounds like he just wants some attention. It seems like these guys just keep crawling out of the woodwork these days.
post #115 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

I expect them to bump the thickness a bit, add more battery capacity and add more GPGPU cores on the new SoC chipset now that the process is dropping in size by TSMC and GF. And they can make the phone a bit wider. Moving the width back to the 3GS size and the thickness back to around .42in allows for better venting and makes the phone feel like it isn't such a pissant little utlrathin product.
What leads you to believe the next iPhone will be thicker? Especially when Apple is all about how thin things are? Yeah I know the 3rd gen iPad was a bit thicker and heavier than iPad 2, but I doubt that was by choice. And and are working to get retina into an iPad mini-thin casing.
post #116 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post


I don't think the iPhone naming system is confusing at all. There's always one current iPhone for sale... and 2 more (last year's and the year before)

Sometimes the current model has an "S" and other times it doesn't. But that shouldn't matter. All you need to be aware of is which one is the newest... and that the older ones follow behind it.

When the iPhone 4 came out... it was the newest iPhone. When the iPhone 4S came out... it was the newest iPhone. When the iPhone 5 came out... it was the newest iPhone... and so on. And considering the hoopla that surrounds every iPhone launch... people should be aware of the newest model.

You either buy the latest and greatest current iPhone... or you can pick up an older model for cheaper price. Simple... no confusion, no doubt.

A better way to describe it is "Good, Better, Best"

Right now the lineup goes: iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5

And soon the lineup will be: iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPhone 5S

I don't see what's so confusing about that. You'll see all 3 models on display at your carrier store... or on the Apple website.

You're right... the "S" denotes a minor update. The iPhone 3GS was an updated iPhone 3G... the 4S was an updated iPhone 4... and the 5S will be an updated iPhone 5

That actually makes perfect sense. 1wink.gif

 

I'm not saying the system is truly dreadful (there's a lot worse out there) but it could be better.

 

If I was ready for a new phone soon, what would sound more appealing to me? An iPhone 5S or an iPhone 6? The latter... marginally.

 

For 99.9% of potential customers the nuances of a name won't affect their buying decision. But even 0.1% of a market this size is worth having.

 

Steve Jobs recognised the power of simplicity, and the naming system on all Apple's products is delightfully straight-forward so why not make it even simpler - just numbers.... 

post #117 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

I expect them to bump the thickness a bit, add more battery capacity and add more GPGPU cores on the new SoC chipset now that the process is dropping in size by TSMC and GF. And they can make the phone a bit wider. Moving the width back to the 3GS size and the thickness back to around .42in allows for better venting and makes the phone feel like it isn't such a pissant little utlrathin product.

If they are using a smaller process and making it wider why wouldn't you assume those two things are enough? Why also assume the phone will get thicker?

It's always nice when the battery life increases but let's keep in mind the iPhone already exceeds all other smartphones in performance per watt and duration with 8 hours of LTE or '3G' use on a standard battery.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #118 of 199
What is strange about the naming convention is not the S, it is having any number at all.

iMacs are iMacs, you don't have an iMac 9s.

If Apple was to truly follow its simplicity, then there would just be an iPhone and there would be three models of it, good, better, best.

Since this guy worked on the iMac branding it is a complete mystery why he didn't say this.
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post #119 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Brother 84 View Post

I'm not saying the system is truly dreadful (there's a lot worse out there) but it could be better.

If I was ready for a new phone soon, what would sound more appealing to me? An iPhone 5S or an iPhone 6? The latter... marginally.

For 99.9% of potential customers the nuances of a name won't affect their buying decision. But even 0.1% of a market this size is worth having.

Steve Jobs recognised the power of simplicity, and the naming system on all Apple's products is delightfully straight-forward so why not make it even simpler - just numbers.... 

True... but considering the iPhone is on a two-year "tick-tock" design schedule.... the "S" makes more sense. Plain number for the first year of the model... "S" for the second year.

But I don't think the name really matters in the end. If someone wants an iPhone... they still choose between the newest iPhone or one of the older iPhones.

Whether you're faced with this:

iPhone 4S
iPhone 5
iPhone 5S

Or this:

iPhone 5
iPhone 6
iPhone 7

You can easily make a decision.
post #120 of 199
What is more bothersome, and not even mentioned in the name, is the myriad of provider-specific broadcast chipsets. CDMA, etc.
Hopefully standards will converge, but in the mean time, producing REAL world phones, with chipsets supporting as many networks, would definitely be a sales argument wrt Samdung et al.
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