The name of the new iPhone will obviously be an important aspect of the smartphone niche in 2018, yet Apple has backed itself into something of a corner. With the release of the iPhone X, Apple ended a naming convention which has spanned a decade. While the iPhone X branding made sense, it now seems that the next generation iPhone name is far from certain.
iPhone XI unlikely
If the name of the new iPhone was to follow on logically from the iPhone X, it could be called the iPhone XI, which will be the next Roman numeral after 10. Of course, this is rather unwieldy, and is extremely unlikely to be the name of the new iPhone. So what could Apple use instead?
It is firstly worth noting that the next generation iPhone is likely to be an incremental improvement over the iPhone X, even if Apple may shake things up slightly. For example, it has been reported that every iPhone unit released in the next generation will feature an OLED screen, as opposed to merely the premium iPhone X, as was the case in 2017.
And there have been suggestions that Apple will release several different models during 2018, as it looks to diversify its product range still further. Considering the increasingly competitive smartphone niche, this is considered essential in order for Apple to maintain its grip on the pinnacle of the industry.
One possibility for the name of the new iPhone is that Apple could once again split up the numerous devices that it releases. The iPhone X could be made into a new range, with the iPhone 8 series benefiting from a sequel as well. If this is the case it would be possible to name the premium version of the iPhone series as the iPhone X2, with the iPhone 9 naturally following on as branding for the two more affordable variants.
Apple could also use the S branding that it has utilized previously, possibly for both the iPhone X and iPhone 8 series. This would naturally result in an iPhone 8S branding for the smartphone versions of the iPhone range, although it will be more problematical for the iPhone X. The iPhone XS seems rather unnatural as a name for the new iPhone, and Apple may instead decide to utilize a separate branding for the iPhone X if this does go ahead.
One name that has been linked with the smartphone, and which seems rather natural, is iPhone XL. Of course, the term XL is well recognized in the world of marketing, and everyday consumers can understand exactly what is being implicitly stated by this branding. iPhone XL would be a suitable name for the new iPhone, and one that would still indicate that the smartphone is improving in comparison to the iPhone X.
However, one problem with this particular name of the new iPhone would be that it would make naming the series even more challenging in 2019. To some extent, Apple would be merely putting off a difficult decision, with the entire smartphone needing to be rebranded in 2019 as a result of the iPhone XL moniker.
However, it could be that Apple switches to iPhone 10 in 2019, and solidifies this branding across the entire product range. Certainly the decision – which it must be said is only rumored at present – to deliver three OLED devices in 2019 suggests that the iPhone range could be more uniform in the forthcoming calendar year than has been the case in 2018.
This would lend itself to an iPhone 10 branding, although this could be considered somewhat regressive considering the usage of iPhone X last year.
Another possibility for the 2018 iPhone range is that Apple could utilize the term Plus. This could then lead the iPhone X device to being branded as the iPhone X Plus, with the name of the new iPhone 8 instead of being iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone 8+. this would communicate to consumers that the devices are improved over the previous generation, without Apple fans expecting something revolutionary.
Apple could also take its cue from previous product releases and possibly refer to the 2018 iPhone series as the iPhone Pro range. Another left-field suggestion is that the name of the new iPhone could be iPhone Bionic, and Apple could go for other completely unique names as well. Whether this is particularly likely is debatable, but what is certain is that Apple needs some fresh thinking with branding, even if the iPhone range will probably sell extremely well completely regardless of the name.
The name of the new iPhone is just one issue facing Apple in 2018. Supply shortages for OLED technology could also be troubling, while the consumer electronics giant must also consider what specifications to include in its next-generation smartphone. With Samsung set to release impressive Galaxy S9 and and Galaxy Note 9 releases in 2018, Apple must keep up the good form that it displayed with the iPhone X.
With this in mind, Apple may consider unveiling some major technological innovations in 2018, while it could even increase the resolution of OLED display included in the iPhone range. The continuing battle between Apple and Samsung may be challenging for other smartphone manufacturers, but it is excellent news for consumers at least.