An interesting case for why Apple may call it the iPhone 5

While it seems we know just about everything there is to know about Apple’s next smartphone — looks, features, launch date — there is one thing that still remains a mystery: what’s Apple going to call it?

According to our poll we conducted last month on the topic, the two most likely candidates are “the new iPhone” and the “iPhone 5.” And if you think that Apple would never call it the iPhone 5, read this…

In a recent MacRumors thread, forum member Millonaire2k lays out an obvious, albeit interesting case for why Apple could call its new handset the iPhone 5. Take a look:

“2007 iPhone named: iPhone (because it’s a cool name)

2008 iPhone named: iPhone 3G (because of its 3G speed)

2009 iPhone named: iPhone 3GS (because of the extra speed on top of the 3G)

2010 iPhone named: iPhone 4 (because it would’ve been dumb to call it iPhone 5, 6, 7 8 or anything else)

2011 iPhone named: iPhone 4S (because it didn’t differ enough from its predecessor to be called the iPhone 5, so what else were they going to call it?)”

The basis of this theory is that Apple is not naming its handsets based on their generation. If that were the case, then the next iPhone would be the iPhone 6, because it’s the sixth iteration of the handset, which would lead to all kinds of confusion in the future. Would the next iPhone be the 6S? And then what, the 8? Not likely.

So with the iPhone 6 option out, that really only leaves the two aforementioned choices: the “iPhone 5” and “the new iPhone.” The latter still sounds weird to me because Apple will likely have 4 different iPhone models on the market this fall — the iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S, and this year’s model. How does the average consumer determine that “the new iPhone” is above the 4S? This is where the 5 makes more sense.

That being said, Apple did introduce this year’s tablet as “the new iPad,” so it certainly wouldn’t be surprising if they did the iPhone the same way. And hey, you’ve got to drop the number scheme at some point right? Otherwise we’d eventually have the “iPhone 20.”

Whatever it’s called, Apple is expected to unveil it next month during a media event on Wednesday, September 12.

What do you think, did this change your perspective at all?