What is the Next iPhone Model’s Name? 4S or 5?

If you bought your first smartphone after the summer of 2007, you may not know that smartphones that preceded the iPhone weren’t very smart. Most did not have an accelerometer, GPS, finger friendly capacitive touch screen, a decent web browser or visual voice mail. These and other features have enabled the much of the mobile social network services we take for granted today.

Apple has released a new iPhone model every summer since 2007. This year, however, there’s been speculation of a fall (September) or even next year. I’ve been calling the next iPhone the iPhone 5. However, both BGR and 9to5Mac’s reporting reminded me that this name is not a given based on Apple’s past naming practices.

Exclusive: Apple testing iPhone for T-Mobile USA (BGR)

Leaked T-Mobile iPhone has an A5 chip, might be the iPhone 4S (9to5Mac)

Apple’s iPhone names are:
2007: iPhone
2008: iPhone 3G
2009: iPhone 3Gs
2010: iPhone 4

If Apple’s upgrade cycle is following a two-year pattern with a new model designator (3G or 4) indicating a major update while a model designator modifier (3Gs) indicates a less radical hardware change, it would make sense for the next iPhone to be a 4S instead of a 5.