MG Siegler poses a great question to open his review of the iPhone 4S:
What does the “S” stand for?
To which he offers his own answer:
When I ask Apple this, they’re vague in their response. They note that some people say it stands for “Special” or “Super”. Others say it’s for “Speed” — much like the iPhone 3GS, the successor to the iPhone 3G. Or maybe it’s “Storage” (this is the first iPhone with 64 GB option — and with iCloud storage). Or “Sprint” (this is the first iPhone to run on that network in the U.S.) Or perhaps it’s for “Speech” or “Siri”. Either of these last two would get my vote. The point is, the “S” can stand for any number of things depending on who is using the device. Here’s all I know for certain: this is the best iPhone yet.
Siegler's’s ideas, while perfectly sensible, miss the mark. After chatting with a few conspiracy theorists, the S stands for Steve. Why? Because, as the story goes, Apple’s Executive Team knew Steve’s time was short, and the iPhone 4S was likely the last product he had his hands on – literally and figuratively. Thus, they wanted to find a way to honor Steve. In actuality, though, the S moniker probably stands for Speed, as it did for 2009’s iPhone 3GS. Phil Schiller said so.