Apple’s big event is coming up next week. We know a lot about the event already. For example, we are expecting a new 4K-ready Apple TV, a new Apple Watch Series 3, and some other small goodies mixed in throughout. And, of course, the new iPhone is likely going to be revealed.
I’ve had the chance to write about plenty of rumors and leaks regarding the upcoming iPhone this summer. Most of the time I have referred to it as the iPhone 8. That seems to be the name of choice among most tech writers. Judging by the articles on this website and others, you would assume that the iPhone 8 is a confirmed name. However, that is far from the truth.Really the iPhone 8 name has just become the default term due to its regular usage. To my knowledge, there has not been any leaks of marketing materials or internal memos that reveal the name. In Apple’s HomePod firmware leak, the iPhone 8 (or whatever it will be called) uses a code name of “D22.”
The one thing that makes me question the iPhone 8 name is Apple’s previous naming conventions. We get a number then an S version of that number the next year. Rinse and repeat. There are rumors of the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus being launched alongside the smartphone known as the iPhone 8. If the iPhone 8 name is used for the new design then it would kind of pull the rug out from under next year’s update. Obviously Apple would be able to find a way around this. Perhaps there would be a new naming convention used or they would start releasing an S version and a numbered version every year with the numbered version being the flagship. Marketing minds much smarter than mine have likely been working on this since last fall.
There are other names floating around the internet as well. Some of these names have been used by industry analysts and some have been used in news reports. These names are hard to pin down regarding their accuracy because you have to understand where this name came from. Why isn’t the reporter using the iPhone 8 name like everyone else? Do they have better info than us? Do they have worse info? Is it “fake news” as our good friend Donald Trump would say?
One of the more common names used instead of iPhone 8 is “iPhone Pro.” This one actually makes a lot of sense. The iPad line came out with a Pro model so it would make sense for Apple’s other iOS device line to use a similar naming convention. Keep the regular “base” models and introduce a premium Pro model. This makes a lot of sense from a marketing perspective. First, Apple has done a lot of work to make the “Pro” name represent their top-of-the-line product. Much of the legwork is already done when presenting the iPhone Pro as the premium model in the iPhone lineup. Next, this allows Apple to keep their regular naming convention of the numbered iPhone model and the the S version. Finally, it also opens the door for some new iPhone Pro-only features like Apple Pencil support. We have seen patents filed by Apple that show an Apple Pencil working on an iPhone and a smaller Apple Pencil as well. If the Apple Pencil is, in fact, getting iPhone support then it would make sense that the iPhone Pro model would work with Apple Pencil just like the iPad Pro works with Apple Pencil.
I’m going to group the final two rumored names together as they kind of follow the same idea. The iPhone X and iPhone Edition have both been thrown around by some analysts. Both of these names seem to suggest that the name has something to do with the tenth anniversary of the iPhone and this device will be some sort of special edition launch. I’m hesitant to believe that Apple goes this route. Across all lines of various Apple products we never see one-off special edition devices. Sure, sometimes we get an iPhone 7 Plus (RED) and special models like that. But, at the end of the day, that’s still an iPhone 7 Plus. It also wouldn’t make sense for Apple to introduce such a radical new design for some sort of anniversary edition device with no clear path forward.
So What Will The Name Be?
Barring any leak of marketing or packaging materials before the big event next week, who knows? The iPhone X or iPhone Edition seem like the least likely options. They stray too far away from the naming conventions that Apple has used in their product lines. Now, that’s not to say we won’t see an iPhone X next week. Anything is possible. The iPhone 8 name has been the most commonly used throughout the summer. In the minds of so many, the new iPhone will likely be called the iPhone 8. However, my money is on the iPhone Pro name for the upcoming flagship. With that said, it’s almost impossible to stop calling the device the iPhone 8. I’ve typed it so many times this summer. Old habits are hard to break.
iPhone 8, iPhone Pro, iPhone X, or iPhone Edition… We won’t have to wait long to find out. Apple’s new flagship is being revealed to the world next week and we’ll finally have a name to assign to the device we have been talking about all summer long.