Is Apple superstitious? We're about to find out.

Business Insider US
Apple CEO Tim Cook in 2018.
Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
  • Apple is expected to roll out the new iPhone 13 next week, a number considered unlucky in Western cultures.
  • Rumoured plans of an iPhone 14 have surfaced, prompting speculation about Apple skipping over the 13.
  • In 2010, Apple went forward with its iPhone 4 release despite superstition in China around the number.
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Apple's fall iPhone event is next week - and we'll find out if the company is superstitious.

Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 13 next Tuesday. But Jon Prosser, who is occasionally correct about these sorts of leaks, reported rumoured notch-less iPhone 14 plans on Wednesday, sending #iPhone14 trending on Twitter.

Some users speculated if, given the rumoured leak, that Apple would bypass the iPhone 13 label altogether and go straight to iPhone 14.

The number 13 is considered unlucky in many Western countries, a superstition that might date back thousands of years, according to For example, the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute estimated between $700 (around R9.9 billion) to $800 (around R11 billion) million dollars are lost every Friday the 13th each year because people are skittish about travelling or operating businesses, as CNBC reported in 2010.

Some hotels skip over the number 13 when numbering their floors, some airlines will omit labelling the 13th row on their aircraft, and airports usually skip from gate 12 to gate 14.

However, that doesn't mean Apple will do the same to avoid scaring off superstitious would-be iPhone customers - just look at its iPhone 4 release in 2010. The company rolled it out despite the number 4 being considered unlucky in parts of Asia, especially China - the Chinese words for "four" and "death" sound similar.

The iPhone 4 still sold well in the market - with its online retail store selling out of the units within 10 hours - even as other electronics makers like Canon and Nokia skipped from 3 to 5 when labeling models, according to the LA Times.

Besides, Apple doesn't seem to have a history of shying away from the number 13 if its product names to date are any indication.

MacBooks are typically identified only by the year in which they are released and their length, such as the MacBook Pro 13-inch. But the technical identifier for the MacBook generation rolled out in 2016 was the MacBookPro13, according to the Apple website. And Apple also rolled out its iOS 13 software update in late 2019.

Some Apple products simply haven't been updated more than 12 times yet, like the iPad, which is currently on its eighth generation.

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