Apple will release a tenth anniversary iPhone this year, and many analysts are anticipating something spectacular in order to acknowledge this milestone. Already this major mobile release has been linked with all manner of new features. But one aspect of the tenth iPhone release from Apple has yet to be settled, how will Apple choose to name and brand this smartphone?

iPhone 8
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Conservative remit

The last few iPhone units have been notable for being somewhat conservative. The last release in particular, the iPhone 7, was considered very much an incremental upgrade over the iPhone 6S, rather than a revolution in the iPhone concept. Indeed, there haven’t really been any major breakthroughs in the technology included in the iPhone series since the release of the iPhone 6 back in 2014.

This can be partly attributed to a shift in ethos at the consumer electronic giant, with current CEO Tim Cook influential here, but also due to the fact that diminishing returns are beginning to define the smartphone niche. It is rather difficult for any developer to come up with something truly groundbreaking considering how far smartphones have come in the ten years since the first iPhone hit the stores. Thus, Apple has taken the attitude that its premier smartphone ain’t broke at present, and thus has felt no compelling need to fix it, despite its ongoing rivalry with Samsung.

iPhone 8 – OLED phone

But this is expected to change once the next generation iPhone emerges. Apple is expected to make this tenth generation iPhone the first handset from the company to include OLED technology, as opposed to the usual LCD. A curved screen will also be included in the smartphone, while a stunning glass-based design has also been frequently linked with this mobile release.

Apple is also expected to finally ditch the Home button when the iPhone 8 emerges, something that has been rumored now for some years. A raft of advanced features are also expected, with a dual-camera with 3D capabilities, also encompassing augmented reality which could possibly be used in gaming, high on the list of possibilities. Wireless charging, a new iris scanner and innovative sensing technology could also make an appearance.

So it is obvious that the next generation iPhone will be a major release for Apple, and it could be one of the most important devices in the history of the corporation. While Apple remains the big player in the smartphone marketplace, the fact remains that the niche is becoming increasingly challenging, and Apple must demonstrate to consumers that it can continue to deliver a unique proposition. With the prevailing economic climate being coupled with a unique landmark in the history of the iPhone range, it is clear that 2017 will be extremely significant for the Californian company.

Biannual policy

But what will Apple choose to call the next iPhone when it is released? Over the last few years, Apple has stuck rigidly to a convention which sees new numerals followed by S series upgrades on a biannual basis. The S moniker indicates that the device in question is a minor upgrade to the iPhone range, as opposed to a fully-fledged update. Considering that the last release from Apple was the iPhone 7, this would suggest logically that the iPhone 7S will follow on as the next branding from the company.

However, it seems likely that the Cupertino-based company will diverge from this naming policy, in order to acknowledge that this tenth generation unit is a major device for Apple. This would suggest that Apple will opt for iPhone 8 as a name, acknowledging that the corporation has invested a great deal of resources in ensuring that the smartphone is an outstanding device.

iPhone X possible

But another name for the smartphone is also possible, with iPhone X having been floated in some quarters. This would acknowledge the special nature of this particular smartphone release, marking the tenth anniversary with an appropriate name, while also implicitly suggesting that this release has the X factor.

And Apple has demonstrated its willingness previously to defy anticipated naming and branding. It was widely believed that the first smartwatch from Apple would be named the iWatch, but Apple ultimately surprised both critics and consumers by branding it as the Apple Watch. There is also precedent in other areas of the technology space, with Microsoft having completely skipped Windows 9 in order to indicates that Windows 10 was a special software release.

Apple Watch tie-in

Another interesting suggestion pushed on the Japanese blog Mac Otakara is that the tenth generation iPhone could be branded as the iPhone Edition. This would follow on logically from previous precedent, as Apple named its top of the range Apple Watch as the Apple Watch Edition, in order to distinguish it from the standard Apple Watch Series 2. However, this particular name may also seem somewhat dated, having already been associated with the Apple Watch, and may not convey the idea of a fresh new start for the iPhone range that is intended.

Apple could also spring a surprise and release the next iPhone under a name that no one has predicted. It indeed completely confounded the Apple-following community with the release of the Apple Watch, and it could conceivably have a branding in mind for the tenth generation iPhone that will defy expectations once more.

But it seems most likely that we will ultimately see this next generation smartphone at launch under either the iPhone 8 or iPhone X name. This is definitely not likely to be an incremental upgrade smartphone, and thus Apple will acknowledge this in its branding. the iPhone 8 / iPhone X, though, could be accompanied by two iPhone 7S releases, with Apple providing entry-level options for those wishing to get aboard the iPhone train.

French gadget leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer, known as OnLeaks on Twitter, recently posted a rendered video of the next iPhone which predicted a design dominated by a wraparound display. It seems that however Apple chooses to brand its next major mobile release, that the design of the unit will be a significant step forward.