Should Apple have called the iPhone 4S a 5?

Apple’s iPhone 4S announcement was a bit of a PR flop. No I exaggerate, it achieved front page coverage around the world, so flop is too strong a word. But people were disappointed, they hoped for an iPhone 5.

Realistically though, Apple can barely supply demand for the iPhone 4, why should it take a big hit to its margins by releasing a radical new model? Because it would hurt its competitors – but that sort of thinking has been shown to hurt company performance and increase the chances of going company failure.

An iPhone 5 would have a different shape and larger screen, and then all the enhancements of the 4S. Not perhaps a huge difference, so should Apple have just called its 4S a 5? Perhaps, but that would devalue the 3GS and 4 models that it is still selling and these models are much more important than people realise.

Apple has quietly expanded its reach even further with sales on the Sprint network but perhaps even more importantly they now have their first ‘free’ model (a 3GS with 2 year contract) that’s a very important place in the market to be. And they have a $99 iPhone 4 (with contract).

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4 thoughts on “Should Apple have called the iPhone 4S a 5?

  1. Good analysis. To my mind, the naming and models are just right. But Apple lost control of the communication.

    Even the release of an intermediate enhanced model is absolutely consistent with past iPhone development. So it looks like Apple did all the right things – except reduce expectations in advance of the announcement.

  2. iPhone 4S flopped big time.

    Problem is lack of new features and stale form factor. It’s just another brick phone now. boring.

    Other phones on the market and much more exciting. This will hurt the brand long term. A huge mistake to play it safe.

    Reminds of Nokia type thinking. We all what happened Nokia, they died a death. Same with Apple.

    They are been left behind by HTC, Samsung and LG as those phones have better everything. iCloud and voice is OLD technology.

    Shame.

  3. I can not understand Apple’s approach to the selling of the 4s, millions of dollars spent on marketing with not product to sell! I was told to reserve a 4S on-line and wait for stock to arrive in the store…..Bullocks! When a customer walks into a store he/she expects to purchase a product on the spot! My response to Apple is if I have to wait for a product to arrive in store then I want a reduction in costs for everyday I have to wait! Customers of Apple rise up and rebel against this type of marketing and demand better customer service from Apple.

    Secondly, have you noticed there is no complaints department in Apple where you can take your issues to. Humm, sounds like Tim Cooke just does not want to know anything else apart from how much money they have made from those poor apple saps that have forked out hard cash!

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