Apple Confirms “3GS,” Journalists Rejoice



Having received confirmation from Apple PR, TheAppleBlog can now confirm that the official name for Apple’s latest phone is iPhone 3GS (no space).

While this might not seem like a big deal to you, for those of us having to write about the formerly awkward name, the plural alone was worth the change. Since the “S” stands for speed, and is an abbreviation, the correct usage was to add an “s,” as in “iPhone 3G Ss.” Now, the much-improved plural will be “iPhone 3GSs.”

There’s one other issue that may or may not be related to the change, something you might not have noticed from the announcement of one million iPhone 3GSs sold. The change first occurred in that official press release. Coincidentally, or maybe not, that press release also quoted Steve Jobs, who has recently been confirmed as returning to Apple. Fixing that kind of detail is just the sort of thing a super-focused person like Steve Jobs does. Whether or not positions in Apple marketing will be opening soon remains to be seen.

Anyway, an iPhone by any name is still just as cool.



While this clarification is fine for the journalists out there, the choice of name is still a horrible one. The first thing I did when I heard the announcement was search for “iPhone 3GS” on Google. I got a bunch of results that were talking about multiple instances of the iPhone 3G. They could have avoided this problem and the one which you have blogged about if they had just picked some other letter. Stupid stupid stupid.


Um actually the plural for the iPhone 3GS would be iPhone 3GS’
just like the plural of Jesus would be Jesus’. Anyway just thought I would share.


If you’re obsessive-compulsive, I suppose you’ve heard of Apple’s Guidelines for Using Apple Trademarks and Copyrights, in which the company claims that: “As adjectives, trademarks may not be used in the plural or possessive form. Correct: I bought two Macintosh computers. Not Correct: I bought two Macintoshes.”

So, I bought two, er, iPhone 3G S cellphones?! :-)


I find it ironic that you care so much about the correct pluralisation of a gadget, but care so little about spellchecking your article, ‘for those of use having to write about the formerly awkward name’. I don’t think I need to point out the spelling mistake I am referring to, but just in case you can’t do it yourself, it’s ‘use’, which should be ‘us’.

Josh Pigford

Touché. And fixed. And for the record, a mistake is different than not caring. We certainly care about that stuff. It was just an honest mistake.


Just call me overly obsessive-compulsive, but I care and I appreciate the clarification. Steve Jobs cares. And I bet the people in marketing who lost their jobs over this “trivial” issue now care too.


We journalists care when it comes time to write our articles…

Edmund Heaphy

I care, Eric. Thanks Josh for the laugh. Actually, scratch that, Eric made me laugh more. Idiots are surprisingly funny!


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