Apple fans are eagerly looking forward to this year’s flagship iPhone models. Last year, the tech giant deviated from its iPhone naming scheme by launching iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and the iPhone X (pronounced ten) simultaneously. There was no iPhone 7S or iPhone 9. This year, Apple is said to release three iPhones: a 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, an iPhone X successor, and a larger 6.5-inch OLED iPhone. The 6.5-inch model will be most expensive of them. The rumor mill isn’t certain whether it will be called iPhone X Plus or iPhone 11 or something else.
Differing views on iPhone X Plus or iPhone 11 dilemma
Will the LCD iPhone – the cheapest of the three upcoming models – be named iPhone 8S or iPhone 9? Will the iPhone X successor be called iPhone XI or iPhone 11? There are just too many questions, and only a few people in Cupertino seem to know whether this year’s flagship model will be called iPhone X Plus or iPhone 11, or what naming scheme Apple will adopt this year. The weird naming pattern for last year’s models has made it difficult for industry experts to predict the names of the upcoming models.
Ben Lovejoy of 9to5Mac suggests that Apple should leave behind the numbering system with this year’s models. The numbers feel “too untidy” after you hit double digits. Lovejoy says Apple should simply stick to the product names and prefix with a year if necessary. According to him, the LCD model could be called ‘iPhone’ while the iPhone X successor could be named ‘iPhone Pro’ and the 6.5-inch model could be ‘iPhone Plus.’
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Lovejoy’s suggestion sounds simple and logical. It would make sense for Apple to name the LCD model ‘iPhone 9’ only if it retained the physical home button. But that’s not happening. For the iPhone X successor, the name ‘iPhone XI’ would make sense because it would be pronounced as ‘iPhone 11’ just like the iPhone X is called ‘iPhone 10.’ What about the 6.5-inch model? Should it be called iPhone X Plus or iPhone 11 or iPhone XI Plus? That’s complicated.
Analyst predicts what 2018 iPhones will be called
According to Guggenheim Securities analyst Robert Cihra, Apple would simplify the naming scheme by keeping the ‘X’ branding in both the OLED iPhones to denote their superior specs. Cihra predicts the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone could be referred to as ‘iPhone’ or ‘6.1-inch iPhone.’ No numbering. However, calling it just ‘iPhone’ could confuse customers.
The 5.8-inch iPhone X successor will likely be called ‘New iPhone X’ or ‘iPhone X (2018).’ The 6.5-inch variant could be named iPhone X Plus, predicts Robert Cihra. We believe the iPhone X successor will most likely be called ‘iPhone X (2018)’ to maintain naming consistently with its larger sibling. By launching iPhone 8 rather than iPhone 7S last year, Apple has indicated the end of the ‘S’ cycle.
If Robert Cihra’s prediction pans out, the iPhone naming pattern would be similar to that of the iPad line. Apple has done away with numbers after the iPad 2. Now there is the ‘New iPad‘ and iPad Pro on its website. The special versions are referred to as iPad Pro, iPad Mini, and iPad Air.
2018 iPhone features
The Guggenheim Securities analyst told investors that the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone would be a ‘solid refresh.’ It will likely borrow key features from the iPhone X such as on-device machine learning, Face ID, Animoji, and a bezel-less design. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts the LCD model would cost in the same range as the iPhone 8.
Consumers would want to own a device that costs only as much as iPhone 8 but offers iPhone X-like features. However, it is said to feature only a single camera on the back, and lack the 3D Touch technology to keep costs down. Kuo added that the LCD iPhone would pack 3GB RAM while both the OLED models would get 4GB RAM, an improved dual camera, and bigger batteries.
According to Taiwan-based Economic Daily News, Apple is planning to reduce the prices of its flagship models this year, most likely due to not-so-good sales of the iPhone X. The iPhone X successor would start at $899 rather than $999. The larger iPhone X Plus will be priced at $999, claims the publication.
The LCD model will cost between $550 and $750 depending on storage options and whether you are buying single-SIM or dual-SIM variant. Ming-Chi Kuo claims Apple will offer the LCD model in both single- and dual-SIM options, but the dual-SIM model is unlikely to be sold in the US due to resistance from wireless carriers.