There’s a problem with the iPhone 8 and no one is able to solve it, What is the name of the 2017 iPhone? If you follow leaks then you’ll know the hot favorite is ‘iPhone 8’ but other names to have been floated include the ‘iPhone X’, ‘iPhone Edition’ and even what would be the traditional successor: iPhone 7S.
iPhone 7S is set to be reserved for incremental iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus successors which are expected to be launched alongside a radically redesigned new iPhone flagship with a glass chassis, OLED display, on-screen fingerprint reader and wireless charging. iPhone 7S just doesn’t cut it.
Why call a potentially groundbreaking new iPhone the ‘8’ when it’s the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone? Why also call it the iPhone Edition when ‘Edition’ is currently reserved for such a niche model of Apple Watch it has zero brand awareness.
So maybe iPhone X makes sense, it means ‘10’ after all? Also, Apple famously has ‘macOS X’ – except it doesn’t. Apple just dropped the ‘X’ from the latest MacOS release: it is simply called ‘macOS Sierra’. Was it looking for brand unity that would not have happened? So again, no deal.
When did Apple announce the second generation Apple Watch what was it called? ‘Apple Watch’. With the MacBook Air on its way out, Apple decided its long-term ultraportable successor would be called ‘MacBook’ – and when it was upgraded to its second generation the name was? MacBook. And earlier this week Apple ditched the iPad Air and the new entry in the line-up was called? iPad.
MacOS which does retain the second moniker with each new version, but that’s also because of the continuous upgrading of software rather than the annual line-in-the-sand upgrades to hardware. And even so, the ‘X’ is gone.
So how do you reinvigorate a line with a new definitive model like, for example, an OLED sporting, glass chassis-based, fast charging, wireless charging, on-screen fingerprint-reading iPhone? You’re ahead of me: you call it iPhone.
Here is Apple’s love of the term ‘Pro’ for its most premium products, so maybe ‘iPhone Pro’ is possible. Then again it seems doubtful Apple wants to trawl the iPhone 7S/8/8S/9/9S path for much longer so a reset to iPhone in 2017 with the improved model would then allow for the initiation of a larger ‘iPhone Pro’ to balance it in 2018 and the numerical models can be slowly put out to pasture.
On paper it all makes sense: iPhone and iPhone Pro, iPad and iPad Pro, MacBook and MacBook Pro. Maybe there could even be some semblance of order to the maze that is Watch models if Apple chose to separate its two sizes into Watch and Watch Pro.
Needless to say, there’s every chance I could be wrong.
It could well be that hot favorite ‘iPhone 8’ will indeed be what Apple thinks is the best name to celebrate the 10th year of the iPhone. Doesn’t sound great, though, does it? And if I am right? Well, that’s only because Apple seems to have spent the last two years laying out a trail of breadcrumbs as it quietly strips numbers and extraneous subcategories from its products in a move back to basics.