Why there is no BB9, Windows 9 and iPhone 9

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There is a reason why there is no BB9, Windows 9 and iPhone 9. Mister Mo gives an insight into why some mobile phone and tech brands have avoided the number 9.

BlackBerry skipped 9 and gave us BB10. Windows and Windows Mobile skipped 9 and went from Windows 8 to 10. Apple has skipped 9 too and given us iPhone 8 and iPhone X (the “X” is for 10). There is a simple reason why mobile phone brands are skipping the number 9. There is a reason why there is no BB9, Windows 9, Windows Mobile 9, and iPhone 9. Come with me for the details.

number 9 in marketing bb9 windows 9 iPhone 9

Marketing and Perception

If you want to sell products across multiple cultures, the rule of the game is to understand those cultures and their superstitions. This is the 21st century, but human nature is still essentially the same. For example, even in many places in the West, the number 13 is considered a number for bad luck. Remember “Friday the 13th”? Aha.

You are not likely to see Windows 13 or an iPhone 13 in the future.

Also, in countries like Korea, China and Japan, the number 4 is a synonym for the word “death”. As such, brands active in those countries tend to avoid it. Who wants to buy death?! I remember Nokia avoiding that number in phones they shipped to that region.

Don’t forget it. If you want to sell products (consumer products especially) across multiple cultures, the rule of the game is to understand those cultures and their superstitions. Sometimes, brands take a chance and go ahead to push a product associated with an unlucky/negative number anyway. Sometimes, that is part of the game. But with the consumer public, perception is a factor. A strong factor.

The Number 9

So, what’s up with the number 9? It is a curse word in Chinese (I have been corrected on this) a synonym for suffering, agony or torture in Japanese. That’s what.

The iPhone pretty much owns the Japanese smartphone market with over 50% market share there. It makes sense for Apple to avoid numbers that can mess up product perception. In marketing after all, perception is everything.

Now you know why there is no iPhone 9. Apple jumped and passed that nasty word in Japan. Or they just thought it would be cool to skip 9.


  1. Android hasn’t followed this path, partly because it isn’t a consumer-facing product, I think. Most people don’t know what version of Android their phones run.

  2. Whoa! Really!? So those numbers are now curse in some countries through what they experience in those date. Now I understand. So are now saying that the iPhone X is presently an iPhone 10?

  3. Thanks Mr M.O. Another thing that is bugging my mind and so annoying is that why is wizytechs copying your post without giving reference to you? is this permitted in blogging sphere because it is absolutely unprofessional? This is your brain child and someone can just come over, copy it without giving reference back to the original source.

    I’m pissed right now. (The guy is fond of copying most of your posts)

  4. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Yelutide. It is certainly wrong of him to use our content without permission. We will deal with it. Thanks, again. Cheers.

  5. Your article is a little off, I am Chinese and 9 is considered a lucky number. A lot of Chinese phone manufacturers actually release the 9th version of phones. The number 4 is a bad number which means “Death” in Chinese so why did they release the iPhone 4 and not iPhone 9 which really is a lucky number?

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