Apple’s iPhone Naming Problem is About to Get Really Crazy

iPhone X with camera lens for HEIF versus JPEG image formats

Apple opened Pandora’s Box with the iPhone X name. Now things could get quickly out of hand.

iphone x front back
Apple’s Phone X started it all.

By Pandora’s Box, I’m referring to a bad case of Super Bowlitis. You know, those ancient Roman Numerals that number each year’s game and few know how to decipher anymore. (But, nevertheless, remind us of ancient Roman stadium atrocities thrust upon Christians.) The prospect of the September 2019 iPhone family base name being called “iPhone XI” brings forth the shuddering prospect of, in a few years,

The magnificent iPhone XIV.

That’ll be sure to give us all a bad case of Super Bowlitis.

Eleventy Goodness

The psychological harm from this Roman Numeral prospect has caused so much damage that writers, myself included, have taken to preemptively referring to this year’s iPhone as the iPhone 11. Thereby returning us to a path of assured sanity. And there’s an implied suggestion for Apple. “Hey, all you in Cupertino. This ways lies the path of technical sobriety. Please follow our lead.”

That may have worked.

But wait.


Recently, we learned from 9to5Mac of a fairly reliable prediction that Apple branding may go yet further amok.

In an interesting proposition, an anonymous Twitter user who leaked many accurate details about the iPhone XS and iPad lineup this morning tweeted a suggestion as to the iPhone 11 naming scheme.

CoinX says rhetorically that Apple will use the Pro suffix branding for the new iPhone.

Say what?

The suggestion is that what we know now as the iPhone Xs Max gets the Pro suffix in the next generation, the iPhone 11.

iPhone X with camera lens for HEIF versus JPEG image formats
The future iPhone XXV Pro.

The mind reels. Is this a naked attempt to justify the higher cost? Or to make a more affordable model seem digestible? And just what is “Pro” about an iPhone? A better camera system? More lenses? More USB-C ports? :: cough ::

The auto makers have refined this model nomenclature art over the years, and they’re wise in their ways. But Apple has had a history of flopping about from year to year, confusing customers and backing themselves into a routinely hilarious branding corner.

The iPhone 11 should be out in September, well before the “Pro Bowl” and plenty of time for Super Bowl LIV.

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