It is almost certain that Apple will launch three different iPhone models next month. One of them, dubbed iPhone 8, is said to bring major design changes. The other two – iPhone 7S and 7S Plus – are rumored to be only iterative upgrades over last year’s flagship models. However, there won’t be an iPhone 7S series, according to an Apple expert. Don’t get me wrong. There will still be three models, but Apple will likely kill the iPhone S moniker. So, what will the new phones be called?

iPhone S Series
Image by ValueWalk Team

iPhone 7S Plus to have a glass back

The iPhone S devices have traditionally introduced only internal upgrades while retaining the overall design of their predecessors. But the so-called iPhone 7S won’t bring just internal improvements. Earlier this week, folks at 9To5Mac shared pictures of what appeared to be an iPhone 7S Plus dummy. The dummy unit showed the device with a glass back instead of aluminum. The rear glass panel will facilitate inductive wireless charging.

The glass back is headed for both the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus. They will have the same A11 processor as the iPhone 8. However, they lack the iPhone 8’s edge-to-edge OLED screen and many other premium features. The iPhone 8 will not have a home button, but the other two devices will retain the physical home button of their predecessors.

No iPhone S series this year?

After taking a look at the dummy unit, noted Apple blogger John Gruber said there was no way the Cupertino company was “going to call these devices ‘7S’.” Gruber frequently interviews Apple executives and has made several accurate predictions in the past. He argues that these devices can’t be described as iPhone S models because they are “sporting entirely new designs.”

Gruber added that the ‘7S’ moniker would contribute to the long-held notion that the ‘S’ devices are only modest updates. However, the iPhone S models tend to feature much bigger technical improvements. If Apple kills the iPhone S moniker, what will the new iPhones be called? Gruber says Apple could adopt a new naming scheme, calling them iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone 8 Pro (the most expensive variant).

The tech giant could take an even more radical approach and drop the numbers, just like it has done with the iPad line. If Apple follows this approach, the new iPhones could simply be called iPhone, iPhone Plus, and iPhone Pro. Either of these two naming schemes will make all three devices seem new, said Gruber. Many have suggested that the 10th-anniversary model could be called iPhone X or iPhone Edition.

Apple has to change the naming pattern this year

If Apple sticks to the iPhone 7S, 7S Plus, and iPhone 8 naming pattern, it will lead to a confusion next year. What will the successors to iPhone 7S and 7S Plus be called? iPhone 8 and 8 Plus? It makes no sense to launch iPhone 8 in 2017 and again in 2018. And what will be the successor to iPhone 8? iPhone 8S? If that happens, Apple will be releasing the regular iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8S in the same year. That’s absurd.

The Cupertino company is now at a point where it has to change the naming pattern to avoid confusion. There are a few other experts who believe that Apple should drop the word “Phone” altogether. The new iPhones won’t be mere phones that you use for calling and texting. They will offer augmented reality features that would lay the foundation for the next revolution in the world of computing.

10th anniversary iPhone to track your face at all times

Recently, Apple released the HomePod firmware that contained multiple references to the 10th anniversary iPhone and its features. Developers found evidence of a SmartCam and an infrared sensor for facial recognition in the HomePod firmware. Developer Guilherme Rambo continues to dig into the code to find references to more features. Rambo said that the next-gen iPhone would detect when you are looking at the screen and mute the notifications.

The infrared sensor is code-named “Pearl ID.” The HomePod firmware indicates that the 10th anniversary iPhone would sport two front cameras and an infrared sensor. It will allow users to unlock the device with your face even in the dark. Rambo indicates that the smartphone will be tracking your face at all times. Silencing the notifications is just one way Apple could use the constant face tracking.

The technology may allow users to unlock the device just by looking at the notifications on the lock screen, points out TechCrunch. Many sensitive apps such as password managers and file management apps rely on Touch ID. The phone is always tracking your face, so it could skip the additional security layer. The device could also lock itself automatically when users stop looking at it.

Meanwhile, a Foxconn executive said in a Weibo post that the 10th anniversary iPhone wouldn’t be cheap. Luo Zhongsheng, a VP at Foxconn, said the new iPhone’s special design had caused a decline in the OLED display yield rates. The iPhone 8 display will have a cutout at the top for the front camera, ear speaker, and other sensors. The yield rates have fallen to 60%, which should lead to an increase in the phone’s cost of production as well as the market price. The 10th anniversary iPhone is estimated to cost buyers more than $1,000.