Former Apple adviser Ken Segall says the way the company names its best-selling iPhone sends the wrong message about the device. He believes that they should return to a simple numbering system for new models of the handset, dropping the “S” moniker it uses every other model.
Brand consultant Ken Segall says that Apple’s naming conventions with the iPhone stray from the simplicity that typifies other aspects of the company’s marketing and operations. Since the iPhone 3GS, Apple has introduced an “S” model every other year. Writing (via Business Insider) on his blog, Segall calls this habit unnecessarily complex and awkward.
“Tacking an S onto the existing model number sends a rather weak message,” Segall writes. “It says that this is our ‘off-year’ product, with only modest improvements.”
Segall worked on Apple’s branding efforts for more than a decade, first as creative director at Apple’s long-time advertising agency TBWA/Chiat/Day and later as a consultant to Apple. He worked alongside Steve Jobs’ creative team, and is credited with the creation of the iMac brand, and also Apple’s Think Different campaign.
Segall also dislikes the apparent abandonment of Apple’s “new” naming convention it seemed to have adopted with the third-generation iPad introduction. The company never adopted that convention for the iPhone, and appears to have dropped it for the iPad with the introduction of the fourth-generation iPad.
Segall also opines that Apple should return to a simple numbering system for new models of the iPhone, dropping the “S” convention.
“I think it’s safe to say that if you’re looking for a new car,” Segall writes, “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.”