Apple Could Skip the ‘S’: Patterns in iPhone Naming Rumors Align

Two supposed leaks or rumors state the possible names for the iPhones won’t follow Apple’s standard naming patterns, though they disagree on the final names for the most hotly anticipated iPhone in years. Previously, it was assumed that there would be three iPhone models released this year. There would be the upgrades to the current models, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus would be replaced by the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, and then there would be the new model, the iPhone 8. However, two new rumors state that Apple will skip the ‘S’ moniker this year, going right to the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus for the 4.7″ and 5.5″ iPhones, respectively, and the 5.7″ with almost no bezel iPhone would instead be named either the iPhone Edition or iPhone X. But which is more likely?

iPhone X

The 5.7″ iPhone has been called three different things over the past few months, the iPhone X, iPhone Edition, and iPhone 8. I was always partial to the “iPhone X” name, because, as the 10th anniversary edition, the Roman numeral for 10 seemed like a good decision. On top of that, macOS was called “Mac OS X” (or just “OS X”) from 2002 until 2016. iPhone X (likely pronounced iPhone 10) would denote it as a special model as well as the 10th anniversary edition of the iPhone. However, the name is a callback to previous Apple branding, not something Apple has done recently. In fact, Apple has recently abandoned the ‘X’ part of the Mac operating system name, making it seem like a callback to the past. Apple’s not one to look to the past, which leads me to believe this will not be the name of the next iPhone. However, a source reporting to iCulture, who previously leaked information about the 10.5″ iPad Pro, claims “iPhone X” will indeed be the name of the next iPhone. An anniversary edition phone would be a callback to a previous device, a nod to the history of Apple, so perhaps Apple will chose a more nostalgic name for the special edition iPhone.

iPhone Edition

The other non-numerical name for the bezel-less iPhone has been “iPhone Edition.” This would mirror the special edition of the Apple Watch, which is called the Apple Watch Edition. On one hand, this more accurately reflects Apple’s current naming conventions. On the other hand, it also implies that this will be something Apple does every year, introduce a high end version of the iPhone alongside two other models. All reports seem to indicate that while the technology from the new iPhone will eventually make it to all iPhones, this will be a special version of the iPhone, not a reoccurring thing. Still, Apple could surprise us. At least one major accessory manufacturer has started naming their cases for the “iPhone 8,” “iPhone 8 Plus,” and “iPhone Edition.” They’ve even begun making labels and packaging. These manufacturers have had a close relationship with Apple in the past, including being sold in the Apple Store, lending a lot of credibility to this story, more than the unidentified leaker to iCulture, perhaps. 

iPhone 8

There’s also a chance that these latest leakers are wrong, and the next iPhones will still be called “iPhone 7s,” “iPhone 7s Plus,” and “iPhone 8.” We have little to go on supporting this naming convention though. The rumors around the “iPhone 7s” claimed the new devices would feature body style changes, glass backs to accommodate for wireless charging. Perhaps that’s enough of a change to warrant a new name after all? I don’t think there’s reason to believe that the special edition iPhone will be called the “iPhone 8.”

My guess is that the special version of the iPhone will be called the “iPhone Edition.” This aligns best with current marketing, and doesn’t make the new iPhone seem to outlandishly special that no one will want to buy the other two iPhone models. If Apple used an older style name, like the “iPhone X,” it would be uncharacteristic, and calling it the “iPhone 8” world cannibalize sales of the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus. That’s why I think the three iPhones Apple will reveal on September 12th will be the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone Edition. What do you think?

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