As the clock continues to count down to the release of the next Apple smartphone, one big question remains…will it be called iPhone 8, iPhone X or iPhone 7S? Branding is always key with any consumer electronics release, but this becomes more true when you are at the top of the smartphone tree.

iPhone 8, iPhone X

Apple surprises

Apple has surprised consumers, analysts and journalists with its branding policy previously, particularly with regard to the Apple Watch. It was largely anticipated that this successful smartwatch series would be branded as the iWatch, making it yet another iDevice. Indeed, there were very few reports that named the ultimate branding of this device ahead of its release; Apple managed to keep the name Apple Watch surprisingly quiet.

So with iPhone 8, iPhone X and iPhone 7S all possible names for the next generation handset, each one of these suggestions possesses compelling reasons to believe that Apple may ultimately choose it for its next flagship.

iPhone 8 preparations

Firstly, it has been widely expected for some time that Apple will brand its next generation mobile as the iPhone 8. This has been almost ubiquitously predicted in the media, with the new numeral in the name of the smartphone intended to indicate a true next generation device.

Apple has clearly been preparing for this smartphone behind the scenes, with all manner of new features and specs being linked with this iteration of the flagship phone. Based on the media hype surrounding the iPhone 8, it certainly doesn’t feel like an upgraded iPhone 7 in release at present.

Tenth generation

However, considering that the next iPhone handset will be a tenth generation device, and a landmark that Apple particularly wishes to acknowledge, it would make sense for the device to be branded as an iPhone X. This would mark the phone out as an extra special member of the iPhone family, which could then be coupled with outstanding functionality.

While this would represent a break from the general branding policy of Apple with the iPhone range, such an approach has been taken by other companies previously. For example, Microsoft switched to Windows 10 following the disastrous release that was Windows 8. And the number ten obviously has a certain resonance that could attract Apple.

Branding the next iPhone release as the iPhone X would also enable the Californian corporation to break away from Samsung. The Korean developer has already released the Galaxy S8 earlier this year, with the Galaxy Note 8 to follow before the end of 2017. By naming its flagship as the iPhone X, Apple would create a demarcation between its product and the eighth generation-focused branding of Samsung.

Previous precedent

So of the iPhone 8, iPhone X and iPhone 7S options, it perhaps seems that the last of these is the least likely. Most analysts and Apple observers believe that the implication of this name would not suit the likely feature set of the smartphone, with the next Apple release expected to be an effective rebooting of the iPhone concept.

In particular, a wraparound OLED display is expected to be included for the first time, and this is the sort of major physical alteration that has traditionally attracted a new number. While Apple has alternated S and next generation releases over the last few years, the S models tend to be minor upgrades rather than revolutionary, next generation devices.

So even though the Apple schedule would suggest that iPhone 7S is due as a form of branding for its next smartphone generation, this may not turn out to be the case in reality. Furthermore, it has been widely reported that Apple will release two updated iPhone 7S units alongside the third smartphone, which will be the OLED device.

Expected features

But regardless of whether Apple chooses to use iPhone 8, iPhone X or iPhone 7S, its next smartphone release will certainly be worth waiting for. There are a raft of new features expected in the next iPhone iteration, with the aforementioned OLED display naturally at the top of the list.

Apple is also expected to include a revolutionary new wireless system which will enable users to recharge their iPhone unit at a hitherto unimaginable distance of 15 feet. Furthermore, clues in the iOS 11 code, not to mention explicit statements from CEO Tim Cook, indicate that there will be significant augmented reality functionality included in the next iPhone release, whether it is to be named iPhone 8, iPhone X or iPhone 7S. AR will deliver both security and gaming functionality.

It is also believed that Apple will eliminate a major feature from the iPhone range in 2017, in common with the abandonment of the 3.5mm headphone jack from last year. When the Home button disappears from the front panel of the next iPhone release, it will herald a new dawn for the smartphone series, in which the button is instead embedded within the display of the device, and touch-sensitive functionality is utilized in order to replace the functions of the Home button.

Possible specs

It is also anticipated that the OLED iPhone release will include a quad HD display; a first for the iPhone range. Apple has been lagging behind its competitors in this department for sometime, and thus this resolution increase will be extremely welcome if it indeed materializes.

We can also expect Apple to fit a larger battery in the iPhone 8, in an attempt to address the lifecycle travails that have become all too common for iPhone users. This cell should be in the region of 3,000 mAh.

Meanwhile, Apple will also include a new A11 chipset, while there have been continual media reports pointing to an improved dual-camera. Storage is expected to be frozen, but the tenth iPhone release should benefit from an additional 1GB of RAM memory.

iPhone 8, iPhone X or iPhone 7S? It remains to be seen, but if Apple delivers as many changes as are being anticipated then perhaps the iPhone X moniker would make the most sense.