Counternotions has a thought-provoking essay about the future of iPhone naming, pointing out that we can’t very well have an iPhone 3G++ or an iPhone 4G floating around. According the Apple naming principles, the only thing they could really do is call it the iPhone Pro if there were any material changes in the look and feel. Otherwise, it will probably just be iPhone 3G yet be considerably different than iPhone 3G–.
Apple never designated the original product iPhone 1G or iPhone 2G. Introduced as a convergence device, it was simply called iPhone. The next version last year (twice as fast, at half the price) was named iPhone 3G. The “3G” part was referencing the speed upgrade from 2.5G/2.75G (EDGE) to 3G (HSPA), not its generational order. Only after the introduction of the iPhone 3G did it make sense to refer to the original as iPhone 2G, but that’s not Apple’s nomenclature.
While this is much like divining the name of God using eviscerated stoats, this sort of futzing is excellent fodder for endless prognostication and argument on fanboi boards, at least until the new iPhone is officially named, so I offer it as an exercise to you, the reader, to offer your own potential name. I think it will be called the iPhone Millennium Edition. Your thoughts?