Budget Apple iPhone means demise of “iPhone 6″ and “iPhone 5S” names

Apple is prepping a budget iPhone variant of its next generation iPhone, splitting the lineup into multiple models and mandating the demise of the “iPhone 6″ name in the process. That means those who have spent months anticipating the arrival of the iPhone 6 will have to get accustomed to calling it something else, at least officially. Apple is expected to parse its iPhone lineup into at least three models, with a flagship “iPhone 6″ debuting a new high end form factor, an “iPhone 5S” midrange model mimicking the styling of the current iPhone 5, and a budget model made of plastic and low cost components for the low end of the market.

With no proper name to assign the new budget iPhone within current naming conventions, Apple will be forced to abandon the numbering system it’s used for the first six iPhone generations. It’s already made a similar move to dump the numbers from its iPad tablets, foreshadowing the arrival of the iPad mini and creating a lineup in which models are identified by word suffixes instead of numeric suffixes. There’s no clear consensus as to how Apple will name its new iPhone models, but it could take a cue from rival Samsung and call the budget model “iPhone mini” if it’s indeed smaller than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5S models, which could be called “iPhone Pro” and simply “iPhone” respectively.

The shift to the three new iPhone models means the end of the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, which Apple had been keeping around as bargain models despite their aging specs and outdated slower charging port. But while Apple will have to dump the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5S monikers before they’ve ever had a chance to be officially used, expect users to apply those names informally nonetheless.

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