I never understood why people have such a bad memory for this. There were no models called iPhone 1, iPhone 2, or iPhone 3. The iPhone 4 was the only model named for its generation number. And since the iPhone 4S was the real “iPhone 5”, it doesn’t make sense to use the “iPhone 5” name for the upcoming sixth-generation model.
I’m guessing, like the third-generation iPad, that the next iPhone will simply be called “iPhone” in marketing and “iPhone (6th generation)” in technical and support documents.
We discussed this on the podcast recently and I have the same thoughts are Marco. Chris, who doesn’t live and breath the tech world like Marco and I do, disagreed. I haven’t seen anyone make a good argument for iPhone 5 yet. Most of the ideas have major holes. The theory that the 4S was a “minor” upgrade doesn’t make sense because then the iPhone 3GS would be a “minor” upgrade, and therefore the iPhone 4 would have been the iPhone 3. Some people think they called it the “iPhone 4” because “iPhone 3” (assuming the scenario where the 3GS was a “minor” update) sounds too much like 3G and 3GS.
Like Arment, my money is just on “iPhone” or “the new iPhone” like they did with the iPad. iPhone 6 would be too confusing to average folk, and iPhone 5 would get torn apart by the tech world.