The Future of iPhone Names

By • 7 months ago with 2 replies already

Now that I’ve had time to digest the “XS-essive” information from the recent Apple Keynote, I’m ready to MAX out my excitement on the new iPhone release.

new iphone 2018 release - iphone xs, iphone xs max and iphone xr
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In my previous blog post about The Evolution of the iPhone, I did a quick rundown on the growth from the first iPhone to the 10th anniversary iPhone X. It wasn’t until this release when I realized Apple completely skipped over the iPhone “2” and iPhone “9”. Why did they do this?

My theory on naming the successor of the first iPhone “iPhone 3G” is purely based on Apple wanting to promote the phone’s 3G capabilities to compete with other rising smartphones at that time. Or Apple just really didn’t like the number 2.

When the iPhone 8 and X (pronounced 10) was introduced last year, there was an ongoing joke about how iPhone 7 “ate” 9. A part of me still believes Apple will shock the world and release an iPhone 9 later this year.

funny tweet about iphone 7 ate 9
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Currently, the iPhone names are identified by either a number followed by a letter or just a number. This slightly changed when the iPhone X was released. Although it’s pronounced “10”, I still call it the iPhone “X”. Now I’m starting to think Apple is straying away from their numbering scheme after this most recent launch of the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR.

iPhone Names Over The Years:

Release Date iPhone Model
2007 iPhone
2008 iPhone 3G
2009 iPhone 3GS
2010 iPhone 4
2011 iPhone 4S
2012 iPhone 5
2013 iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S
2014 iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus
2015 iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus
Early 2016 iPhone SE
2016 iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus
2017 iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X
2018 iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max


Whether it’s a Roman numeral or a letter, I think we can agree that the new iPhone models have several different types of pronunciations.

  • iPhone XS – iPhone “Tennis”, iPhone “Exes”, iPhone “Excess”
  • iPhone XS Max – No more “Plus”! Also, consider yourself lucky if your name is Max or Maxine!
  • iPhone XR – iPhone “10”R reminds me of “Tender” which reminds me of “Chicken Tenders”. And who doesn’t love chicken tenders?!

I have a feeling there’ll be a lot of iPhone users toggling between these different names.


My Predicted Future iPhone Names:

  • iPhone 9 – If Apple decides to provide a lower budget iPhone (and call it iPhone 9), I think they should revert it back to the smaller aluminum body and bring back the headphone jack.
  • iPhone 11 – Over the years, the iPhones have been getting larger. I can’t be the only one who misses the small and compact cell phones. If Apple releases an “iPhone 11,” I’d love for it to have the same features as the XR, but be the same size as the iPhone 6.
  • iPhone XI, XII, XIII… – After the 10th anniversary launch with the iPhone X, Apple might switch to a roman numeral naming convention.
  • iPhone (Year) – Since there’s been a new iPhone annually for the past 11 years, calling new iPhones by the year it was released might be a helpful way to label them.
  • (Size) iPhone – To resemble the naming scheme of Apple laptops, they can refer to the size of the phone. With the new iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, I’m still struggling to remember which model is bigger.
  • iPhone Mini, Pro, Air – Similar to sizes, Apple might match the names of their laptops, iPads, and Macs for a more uniform product naming structure.


In my opinion, this year’s product lineup was underwhelming. In addition to the 3 new iPhones, we were introduced to a new Apple Watch and iOS 12 software. I was much more intrigued by the name selections than the actual phones. However, I’m eager to see how Apple develops their product naming strategy and to see if my predictions are correct!

Let us know in the comments if you have any predictions for the future iPhone names!

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