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iPhone 5S: marketing expert slams Apple naming conventions

iPhone 5S: marketing expert slams Apple naming conventions

Apple is underselling its smartphones and confusing customers with its ‘S’ naming convention, a former advisor to the Cupertino handset-maker has claimed.

Back in 2011, Apple introduced the fifth-generation iPhone. But instead of opting for the logical title of ‘iPhone 5’, it chose the name ‘iPhone 4S’, implying to some consumers that the handset was an incremental update of the previous handset. Or a kind of iPhone 4 and a half, if you will rather than the fully-fledged fifth iteration of the handset.

Since then, the sixth-generation iPhone has arrived and was marketed – more than a little perplexingly – as the iPhone 5. And if rumours are to believed, the next handset will see Apple stick with the ‘S’ epiphet and market its sixth-gen handset as the iPhone 5S.

Confused? You’re not alone. At least not if you adhere to the reasoning of brand consultant Ken Segall.

iPhone 5 official horizontal

According to Segall, who worked on branding Apple products for ten years, the ‘S’ naming convention makes the phone seem less attractive to customers and unnecessarily complicates the distinctions between new and older iPhones.

He explained: "Tacking an S onto the existing model number sends a rather weak message.

“It says that this is our 'off-year' product, with only modest improvements."

As you might expect from the ad-man who was instrumental in creating Apple’s seminal Think Different campaign, he’s got a snappy sales-based analogy to illustrate his point.

Segall added: "I think it's safe to say that if you're looking for a new car, you're looking for a 2013 model — not a 2012S.

“What's important is that you get the latest and greatest... If it's worthy of being a new model, it's worthy of having its own number."

The next iPhone – whatever it ends up being called – is expected to land in September or October this year and may be preceded by a low-cost model in June.


Apple Insider

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