There has been a great deal of conjecture about what Apple will name the next iPhone. Seeing as this year’s iPhone release will technically be the sixth-generation iteration of the Cupertino-based tech giant’s landmark smartphone, hard core Apple enthusiasts are quick to point out that Apple could never name the next iPhone “iPhone 5,” since the name would be out of sync with the generation. Pragmatists argue that the “iPhone 5″ moniker is just too hot for Apple to pass on, no matter how technically incorrect it may be. And still others say that Apple might simply adopt the “New iPhone” name for the next iPhone, as they did for this year’s third-generation iPad.
Last week, however, Apple took a big step in what might be the first solid clue as to what Cupertino will name the next iPhone.
In a very unusual move, Apple has taken action to wrest away the iphone5.com domain from another website owner. According to MacRumors, “Apple has filed a claim with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) seeking to gain control of the iPhone5.com domain. WIPO authorities are currently assessing compliance of Apple’s claim with the agency’s regulations, and proceedings are likely to be initiated in the near future.” Currently, the iPhone5.com domain is owned by someone else, and at present, very little is on it — it’s nothing more than a bland forum of iPhone 5 discussion.
The iphone5.com website gets very little traffic because, in spite of its domain name, it does not rank high for iPhone 5-related keywords. however, this has not stopped Apple from taking decisive action to legally control it.
MacRumors points out that the fact that Apple is pursuing the iPhone 5 domain ahead of any device called “iPhone 5 actually being released is unprecedented:
Apple’s pursuit of the iPhone5.com domain is interesting given how slow the company has been to take action to secure domains related to its previous products. Apple didn’t gain control of iPhone4.com until nearly a year after that device launched and Apple didn’t seek to gain control of iPhone4S.com until several weeks after that device debuted last October. In the latter case, Apple was likely extremely motivated to take control of the domain because it was being used to forward visitors to pornography sites.
Never before has Apple secured a domain like this before the official product launch. But Apple’s move to do so proves how incredibly valuable the “iPhone 5″ name truly is. My argument for believing that the New iPhone will be called “iPhone 5,” in spite of it technically not being the fifth-generation iPhone, is simply because the name itself is too valuable for Apple to squander; yes, they are already a wealthy company, but they still want to capitalize on their product launch as much as possible, and make good on the “promise” of a groundbreaking iPhone 5 that has been rumored since the late summer of 2010. If you still believe that Apple won’t be calling the next iPhone the “iPhone 5,” then why would they be making such an effort to control the iphone5.com domain?
By Michael Nace