We are now just a week away from when Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will make the magic happen. The market's circling Sept. 9 on its calendar, hoping that the world's most valuable consumer tech company showers the market with shiny new iPhones, Apple TVs, and "one more thing" goodness.
Rumor sites and folks that like to dream out loud have no problem predicting that the next iPhone -- the 6s, as everyone's logically calling it -- will have Force Touch, a sturdier aluminum shell, and obviously an upgraded processor and camera. What you don't hear a lot of chatter about is the name of the device itself.
It seems to be a foregone conclusion that next week's event will introduce the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus. It follows Apple's historical naming conventions. The 3G, 4, and 5 were followed by the 3GS, 4s, and 5s. Why wouldn't the sequel to the iPhone 6 be the iPhone 6s?
Well, phonetically speaking we have a problem. Obviously 6s sounds a lot like success. That may seem like a good omen, but Apple probably doesn't want to come off as a braggart.
- "Honey, have you seen my success?"
- "I need to recharge my success."
- And, let's not forget the scenario that will play out when the iPhone 7 inevitably rolls out next year: "I think it's time to trade in my success."
It may seem petty, but these things matter. We saw this play out with the NFL as it approached the 50th anniversary of its Super Bowl championship. The game will take place next February, but the league realized all along that naming its final game of the postseason after Roman numerals would pose a problem when it hit Super Bowl L at the end of this season. This isn't technically a problem about phonetics, but clearly there are enough people that associate the letter L with the universal slapped on the forehead sign for loser. The NFL decided early last year this game would be called Super Bowl 50 instead.
Apple can probably consider itself lucky that the candy colored 5c product line was a bit of a bust. Would it have really called it 6c -- sexy to some ears -- last year if there was a market for it?
The naming conventions will change. It's a fair bet that eight years from now we won't be talking about the iPhone 10s. Really? Tennis? As easy it is to picture Apple rolling out ads for the 10s with The Beatles' "All You Need is Love" playing in the background it's just not going to happen.
If Apple has given it some serious thought -- and obviously that's exactly what it does with its perfectly calculated rollouts and thorough marketing campaigns -- you'll be getting a new iPhone next week, but it won't be a 6s.
Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns and recommends Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.