While it may seem like Apple painted itself into a corner by releasing three new iPhones with two very different names last fall, one research analyst actually believes this year’s X and 8 sequels will bring simplified branding for the entire iDevice family.
Forget iterative “S” upgrades or convoluted rumored names like the iPhone XI. If Guggenheim Managing Director Robert Cihra is to be trusted, that 6.1-inch “mid-market LCD-based iPhone” will simply be known as the new iPhone, similar to the latest 9.7-inch iPad generation.
Meanwhile, the high-end, higher-priced reloaded OLED 5.8-incher should retain its predecessor’s catchy “X” suffix, which probably means the ultra-premium 6.5-incher will hit stores as the iPhone X Plus.
To recap, you’ll be able to choose from a 2018 lineup including iPhone, iPhone X and iPhone X Plus models in the fall, with the original X likely to be discontinued, a budget-friendly SE 2 expected out in a few weeks, and 8 and 8 Plus sales possibly extended at lower prices to fill the remaining gap between Apple’s mid-range and flagship handsets.
That makes pretty decent sense, although we’re not sure a new iPhone carrying no number or letters in its formal branding label necessarily qualifies for a “simplified” naming strategy.
Of course, this is all idle speculation right now, which is not what we can say about Cihra’s prediction of a “solid” LCD refresh being in the works, with 3D sensing technology and advanced on-device machine learning and augmented reality features borrowed from the existing iPhone X. That part feels pretty much etched in stone.