Has Apple stated any meaning for the 'S' in the iPhone product designations '4S' or '3GS'? Does it mean the same thing in both product names?

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    I would say that this is the internal Apple designation for evolutionary designs, which this one was. This seems to be the case, anyways, given merely two examples. – jcolebrand Oct 6 '11 at 4:00
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    @raxacoricofallapatorius One potential problem is that there's no non-speculative answer. Apple didn't announce an explanation, so all we can do is guess. Questions that involve "guess why Apple did this" usually don't do well here. – Daniel Oct 6 '11 at 4:31
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    I certainly don't make the rules; I'm just trying to help you understand why you're not getting a high upvote score here. Upvotes tend to go to questions that people consider a "good fit" for the site. Downvotes tend to go to questions that people consider a bad fit for the site. Sometimes the moderators close them. It's not always obvious at the time one asks which category a question falls into. I've had questions that I thought were good at the time I asked them end up downvoted or closed. The point of voting is gathering collective wisdom about how well a question fits the site. – Daniel Oct 6 '11 at 4:43
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    Daniel's pretty much bang on. This is not public knowledge. Questions should constrain themselves to facts and not illicit gossip or rumor or debate or extended discussion (all run counter to the "fit" of this place). Only Apple knows what the S stands for and why they named it as such. Moreover, they've never publicly advertised it. – user10355 Oct 6 '11 at 8:06
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    This isn't a great question, but I don't think it's "not constructive". Apple said that the "S" in the "3GS" stood for "speed", I think it's understandable to ask what the "S" in "4S" stands for, even if the answer is that there is no official answer. – Kyle Cronin Oct 6 '11 at 8:34

As of October 2011 when this was first asked, there has been no official answer stated. With the 3GS, Apple officially stated "the S is for speed." There has been no comparable explanation given for the 4S.

HOWEVER, in an interview at the All Things D conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated, "some people might say it stands for Siri or speed. We were thinking of Siri when we did it."

So the official answer is that the S in iPhone 4S stands for...



Apple itself hasn't released any information regarding the S. The three most common theories out there seem to be "S" for "Siri", "S" for "speed" and "S" for "Steve". My guess is the "S" means "speed", like the iPhone 3GS.

  • Your forgot 'Speech'. The 'S' meaning speed in this context makes very little since. The A4 -> A5 speed difference is nearly nothing compared to the iPhone 3G's ARM processor up to the 3GS'es ARM-Cortex A8. – Jason Salaz Oct 6 '11 at 4:48
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    @VxJasonxV I think Siri and Speech could almost be considered synonymous, in this situation. – please delete me Oct 6 '11 at 12:30
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    I think the S should stand for Steve because he just passed away on October 5th. "iPhone 4 Steve" makes sense :) But it seems to stand for all the things that @Mahnax said. – Nathan Oct 8 '11 at 3:55

The S in 4S stands for the same thing as the S in 3GS. But as of October 2011, I think it is safe to say it is not Siri.

  • Um, no. It is most likely Siri. That is one of the biggest updates on the iPhone 4S. – Nathan Oct 8 '11 at 3:57
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    Why would it be Siri when the iPhone 3G S wasn't Siri? That doesn't seem logical to me. – ConstantineK Oct 8 '11 at 11:13
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    @hobs The iPhone 3GS didn't have Siri, so how could it have been Siri at all? – please delete me Oct 8 '11 at 17:17
  • Turns out it's not so safe to say it's not Siri -- Tim Cook said that's exactly what they had in mind. – Daniel May 31 '12 at 23:00

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