It started with the iPhone 4S following the iPhone 4, and apart from one notable exception, has continued to the iPhone XS following the iPhone X. Apple’s geekerati should therefore be expecting to see the iPhone 11S, iPhone 11S Pro, and iPhone 11S Pro Max around this time next year.
Well, the hopes of a new iPhone 11S family have been dashed.
The news comes from noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Given the long lead times on iPhone design, pro type construction, and manufacturing before launch, it should come as no surprise that the 2020 iPhone is under way. In fact that’s how we know that Apple is regressing the design away from the super-thin and curved edges that have been part of the language since the iPhone 6 towards the metal band style of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 generation.
In all the talk of new hardware and ensign being packed into next year’s iPhone, Kuo has specifically called it out as the iPhone 12. Now, we’re eleven months away from launch, and a pre-production name could easily be changed to something more exciting, but when has Apple delivered exciting over predictable?
Arguably, moving from iPhone 11 to iPhone 12 is something exciting. It’s disrupting the natural order of Apple products, it is signifying change, and there’s no way that adding a simple ’S’ is enough to contain Cupertino’s enthusiasm. Goodbye iPhone 11S, we barely knew ya.
Apple has already seen the negative impact of the ’S’ moniker and how it no longer energises the base… the iPhone XS did not reverse the falling sales of iPhone when it followed up the iPhone X. And although Apple has bumped up to the iPhone 11 the handsets are clearly iterative approaches that more than likely merited a nominal iPhone XSS rather than a cardinal jump to iPhone 11.
But with the iPhone 12 now clearly signposted, and the naming implication that this will be a major step forward in terms of design and technology, why would anyone consider the boring iPhone 11 family with ‘a slightly better camera’ and ‘a bit more battery life’ that barely matches the Android-powered competition?