For all the hype and leaks around the coming “iPhone 8,” there remains one area of uncertainty: its real name. No one is sure what the eagerly anticipated flagship smartphone from Apple will be called.
We do know plenty of other key details about the device. Due to be formally unveiled Tuesday, its release will mark 10 years since the launch of the original iPhone, and it is slated to have an almost edge-to-edge OLED screen as part of a radical redesign.
The physical home button will be ditched in favor of on-screen options, while the camera is being revamped to take advantage of Apple’s new augmented reality tech. It is also thought to feature facial-unlocking technology and a glass back.
For starters, there’s iPhone 8. This is what most pundits — myself included — are calling it by default until it’s officially confirmed. It differentiates the high-end device from the other two iPhones Apple is also expected to launch next Tuesday. These are expected to be more incremental updates, largely keeping the design of the iPhone 7 and (presumably) costing less than the iPhone 8. (These are sometimes tentatively being referred to as the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus — but more on them shortly!)
But other possibilities are floating round for the next iPhone. One is the iPhone Pro, a name suggested by Apple blogger John Gruber. It’d be in keeping with how Apple names its other high-end hardware products — the MacBook Pro, the Mac Pro, the iMac Pro, and so on.
iPhone 8 ‘notch’ An iPhone 8 concept that shows how the top “notch” may look. Concept Creator/YouTube
Another rumor that has gotten a lot of traction is the iPhone Edition. At the start of September, the Apple news site 9to5Mac reported that phone-case makers thought the device would use the “Edition” name and were preparing to print merchandise based on it. It’s also a name that has been rumored at least as far back as March and would make sense. Apple has named special-edition products “Edition” before — just look at the $17,000 gold Apple Watch Edition.
A fourth option: the iPhone X. The Dutch news site iCulture reports, citing an unnamed “reliable source,” that the next iPhone will use the name “X” — an apparent reference to its 10th birthday. Evan Blass, a reliable journalist who specializes in tech leaks, lent weight to this theory, writing on Twitter: “FWIW, I’ve also heard ‘iPhone X.'”
In short: While we know a lot else about the handset, the true name of the “iPhone 8” may remain a surprise until the official launch.
We may skip the -s this year
Copper Gold iPhone 8 A mock-up of the iPhone Edition/X/Pro/whatever you want to call it. Danny Winget/YouTube
Lastly, remember the nonspecial “iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus”? Well, they may not actually be called that.
Typically, Apple alternates its name for the iPhone each year — one year it’s a new number, the next it’s an -s, as it was with the iPhone 5s in 2013, the iPhone 6 in 2014, the iPhone 6s in 2015, and the iPhone 7 in 2016. This implies that this year the regular iPhone is due to be the iPhone 7s — but multiple reports suggest it will instead be the iPhone 8.
Both iCulture and 9to5Mac believe that they will be called the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus, with the higher-end special-edition device taking a different name.