iPhone 9? Apple has likely changed how iPhones are named

“Hello, iPhone X. Goodbye, iPhone names as we know them,” Jessica Dolcourt writes for CNET. “When Apple announced the iPhone X (pronounced “ten,” not ‘ex’) with no home button, the electronics giant may also be subtly prepping us for a major sea change in how Apple phones are named.”

“Last year we got the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. This year we should have seen the iPhone 7S and 7 Plus, if Apple had followed the pattern we’ve seen since the iPhone 3GS in 2009. On even years, a heftier upgrade; in odd years, a slight upgrade followed by the suffix ‘S,'” Dolcourt writes. “If Apple had stuck to that plan, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus would have lit up the stage in 2018, not now in 2017.”

MacDailyNews Take: “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.

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

“By calling it the iPhone X, Apple has fast-tracked us beyond the point of no return. The 8 and 8 Plus are already upon us; it’s already too late for the iPhone 9,” Dolcourt writes. “So what comes next? Apple can’t easily hop back on its pattern. Who would want to buy an iPhone 8S or iPhone 9 when a “10” (X) is already out there? That’s confusing. It’s possible that Apple will adopt a totally new naming convention… likely, Apple takes us down the iPad road and simply calls the next iPhones ‘iPhone’ and ‘iPhone Plus.’ (Which we would immediately refer to as ‘iPhone 2018,’ etc.)”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup. As we wrote last month:

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

Apple, enough with the stupid iPhone ‘S’ naming already – September 16, 2015


  1. Remember that there was no Windows 9 either. Perhaps because in german it becomes iPhone Nein! While I understand the potential for jokes about windows No! The same case could be made for iPhone No!

    1. Apple can get away with it because it’s technically the 10th phone…

      1. iPhone
      2. iPhone 3G
      3. iPhone 4
      4. iPhone 4S
      5. iPhone 5
      6. iPhone 5S
      7. iPhone 6
      8. iPhone 6S
      9. iPhone 7
      10. iPhone X

      ….or am I missing something?

            1. All idiocy aside…
              iPhone X clearly represents/celebrates the tenth year of the iPhone. Or the path forward. Maybe 8 or even 9 might the last actual number. I think the S version is kaput.

  2. 1. iPhone 8 to iPhone X, sound familiar? Why not iPhone 9? Remember, Microsoft jumped from Windows 8 to Windows 10, and it’s a disaster!

    2. Mac should’ve been OS 11 a few years ago. Apple avoids all logical numbering systems by going from OS 10.9 to 10.10 (in our numbering system, 10.10 actually = 10.1). It should’ve gone to 10.9.9, then 11. I wasn’t the best mathematician in college, but I did learn something that Apple seems to not understand.

    3. When is Apple going to release the dock, in Mac, from its cage? Didn’t it do that when 10.4 Tiger was released? The dock used to be an item of beauty, now it’s back in the cage. Jonny Ive is a fantastic hardware designer, absolutely brilliant. However, software is NOT his strength. Apple’s software was better before Jonny Ive got involved.

    4. How about bringing back the “look and feel” of 10.6 Snow Leopard. Every Mac user I speak to LOVES Snow Leopard and has been disappointed with every upgrade since. In Snow Leopard, one could nest folders within folders within folders (even Windows still allows this as an option). The Finder’s sidebar was in color and not so dim as it is today (it’s almost unreadable). The apps icons in the dock were nearly 3-dimensional, and not flattened as they are today (Jonny Ive again). And what happened to the metallic windows? I thought they were great, and should’ve remained an option. And why can’t Apple get the mouse tracking speed and acceleration right, as Microsoft Windows did over a decade ago?

  3. iPhone edition
    iPhone Plus
    iPhone mini

    Clean and simple and borrowing from their existing brand schemes. Let’s kill all the alpha and numberical distinguishers other than year.

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