“Apple could make a major change to the way it names successive iPhone generations this year, Guggenheim analyst Robert Cihra suggests, tipping Apple to take the opportunity to simplify what the iPhones are called when the new models launch this fall,” Malcolm Owen reports for AppleInsider. “‘We think Apple may use this upcoming cycle to formally change its iPhone naming/branding pattern,’ according to the analyst, with the ‘mid-market LCD-based iPhone’ simply called ‘iPhone’ without any numbering. The high-end iPhone for the generation will apparently keep the ‘X’ suffix to denote its increased specifications.”

“Highlighting the lack of a ‘plus-sized’ iPhone X last year, caused through a limited supply of OLED panels, the firm believes the existence of a 6.5-inch model in the upcoming refresh can remedy what is considered a ‘notable miss,'” Owen reports. “There are also the ‘makings of a solid refresh’ for the LCD-equipped model, with features carried over from the iPhone X including 3D sensing and more native optimization of on-device machine learning and augmented reality likely to help its cause.”

Owen reports, “Current rumors and speculation point to three iPhones shipping this fall, with a lower-specification 6.1-inch LCD model accompanied by 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch OLED versions.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So:

• iPhone (2018) – 6.1-inch LCD
• iPhone X (2018) – 5.8-inch OLED
• iPhone X Plus or Pro (2018) – 6.5-inch OLED with Apple Pencil support

As regular readers know, we’ve written a book’s worth on iPhone naming. Some examples:

“S” year iPhones were not “slight upgrades,” but that horrid mischaracterization is exactly why we advised Apple to drop the the stupid “S of Death” naming scheme many years ago.MacDailyNews, September 13, 2017

Apple, enough with the stupid iPhone ‘S’ naming already.

iPhone “S” years usher in hugely significant features, such as oleophobic displays, significant GPU improvements, world phone capability, Siri personal assistant, video stabilization, panorama photos, 64-bit processors, TD-LTE support, Touch ID, and 3D Touch, among other improvements and additions. Each year’s iPhone deserves its own number. By not doing so, Apple is shooting itself in the foot; handicapping iPhones with an “S” every other year. Why Tim Cook or Phil Schiller haven’t put an end to this stupid – yes, stupid – “S” naming is inexplicable. Why don’t you just name it “iPhone No Big Deal This Year,” Tim and Phil?

Here’s what you say onstage and in the press release when there’s no “iPhone 7s” and you jump directly from iPhone 7 to iPhone 8: “The improvements are such that the new iPhone deserves its own number.” Period. Done. Mission accomplished. It’s your naming convention, Apple, and you can correct your stupid mistake at any time. — MacDailyNews, September 16, 2015

It’s as if Apple is naming iPhone models solely for their own internal inventory purposes, just so they can keep track of which model is which, with no regard for how the iPhones are perceived by the rest of the world – the media, the customers, etc. – outside One Infinite Loop.

The “S” doesn’t stand for “Speed,” it stands for “Stupid.” Yes, we know it’s the same case design; we know the “S” version is the one you make the big margins on; we get it. Call it the “S” internally if you must, but don’t be so engineer-ish that you insist on calling it that on the box, too!

It’s not about sales figures or the model’s success (as long as “iPhone” is in the name, it will be a success), it’s about setting a tone. In this case, with the “S,” Apple sets a tone that they are just making an incremental update… Why gift the naysayers with the opportunity, Apple?MacDailyNews Take, April 5, 2013

There are plenty of numbers in the universe. Infinite, actually. Don’t worry, Apple, you won’t run out.MacDailyNews, October 4, 2011

As we wrote in August 2017:

We’d love to see a clean break in the iPhone-naming game with something like the following naming scheme:

• OLED iPhone – iPhone Pro (2017)
• iPhone 7 Plus – iPhone Plus (2017)
• iPhone 7 – iPhone (2017)
• iPhone SE – iPhone mini (2017)

From that point on, simply change the year as Apple already does with Macs. The Plus models will die out as OLED takes over and the huge Plus bodies needed to accommodate LCD are no longer required. The iPhone line could then be simplified to:

• iPhone Pro (year)
• iPhone (year)
• iPhone mini (year)

The top of the line could also be grown to offer varied sizes with display size designations (again as Apple already does with Macs):

• 6.5-inch iPhone Pro (year)
• 5.8-inch iPhone Pro (year)
• iPhone (year)
• iPhone mini (year)

We’d love for it to be called “iPhone X.” — MacDailyNews, July 31, 2017

SEE ALSO:
iPhone 9? Apple has likely changed how iPhones are named – September 13, 2017
Apple, enough with the stupid iPhone ‘S’ naming already – September 16, 2015