As 2018 unfolds, one of the key issues in the mobile niche will be the name of the new iPhone. Apple has certainly changed tack with the release of the iPhone X, and this makes predicting the branding of the next generation smartphone significantly more difficult.
And the consumer electronics giant certainly caught many critics and consumers out with the iPhone X moniker. Indeed, Motley Fool ran an article at the time suggesting that the iPhone X name would be silly, and pouring scorn on the suggestion that Apple would opt for this branding. Ultimately, iPhone X was used, and it has turned out to be hugely successful for Apple.
Regardless of the name of the new iPhone, we can be quite certain that the next generation mobile from the Californian corporation will be extremely impressive. It is certainly too early for last year’s iPhone X reboot to be repeated, but Apple will be able to beef up what was already an impressive smartphone performer.
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Already the next generation Apple iPhone is being linked with a 6.5-inch display, which would be comfortably the largest screen that Apple has ever fitted in a mobile device. Ironically, the company is moving further away from the vision of CEO and founder Steve Jobs, who had once asserted that the ideal smartphone screen size is merely 3.5-inches. Unfortunately for the sadly deceased Jobs, this doesn’t fit in with the mobile zeitgeist.
Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities has already asserted that at least one of the 2018 iPhone models will come with the 6.5-inch display. But Kuo also gave us a clue regarding the name of the new iPhone, suggesting that this large model will be launched as the iPhone X1 S Plus by the year 2020.
Kuo also suggests that the next generation iPhone will heavily involve LG Electronics, which will be responsible for manufacturing the OLED screen used. This is a departure from the iPhone X, whose OLED display is produced by Samsung. However, it is natural for Apple to move away from this arrangement, considering the rivalry between the two companies. It seems Apple is ready to make major investments in a new LG facility that will then exclusively produce displays for iPhone products.
iPhone XI prospect
If the name of the new iPhone is iPhone X1 or iPhone XI then it will mark an acknowledgement that the iPhone X is the beginning of a new generation of products. The branding of the iPhone range will then veer away from the numerical basis that was used previously, and Apple will need to work out how it will progresses in the future.
It does seem unlikely that the name of the new iPhone will be iPhone 9, even though the iPhone 8 was released in the last generation. Of course, Apple will release three handsets in 2018, or at least this seems to be a foregone conclusion, and it is possible that the iPhone X and current iPhone 8 lines could be branded differently once more. This means that there could be an iPhone 9 and an iPhone XI released alongside one another, although this would seem to represent an increasingly confusing policy.
Another possible aspect of the next generation Apple smartphone will be a foldable OLED screen. Samsung is expected to release its first foldable smartphone next year, with the hierarchy of the company having already announced this eventuality. Apple will then follow suit, although it is debatable whether this will be in the next series of products. Apple has already patented foldable technology, and this should appear in the iPhone range sooner rather than later, particularly if Samsung follows through on its promise.
Another possibility for the name of the new iPhone is that Apple will embrace the S range branding that it has used in the past. We can reasonably expect this new series of iPhone releases to be a mid-range upgrade, and these have attracted the S name in recent years.
The name of the new iPhone will almost certainly be unveiled in September next year, following the previous release schedule for Apple mobile products. But muddying the water is the fact that Apple has been linked with a successor to the iPhone SE in 2018 as well.
It is believed that the Galaxy S9 series from Samsung could feature a rival to the diminutive Apple product, and this could prompt the Cupertino-based company to produce a successor to the iPhone SE in the next few months. However, this is unlikely to impact on the branding of the iPhone XI generation, as it is widely anticipated that this new device will be called the iPhone SE2.
Aside from the name of the new iPhone, Apple could also include some outstanding technology in this new release. It is possible that the next generation smartphone could benefit from a 4K resolution display, as the technology becomes part of the mainstream smartphone landscape in 2018. Spec upgrades are also likely, while Apple is currently working on improvements to the Siri personal assistant as well.
It would also be welcome if Apple were to freeze the price of the iPhone XI generation, after the iPhone X retailed at its infamous $1,000 price point. While the iPhone X has unquestionably sold well at this RRP, it would be difficult to justify a price hike for what is an upgraded device rather than a revolution in the iPhone concept.
The future bodes well for the iPhone range after an impressive 2017, but the branding of the next generation device remains uncertain.