There has been a lot of speculation on how Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will name its upcoming trio of iPhones. In the press, the two LCD models were referred to as the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, while the all-new OLED model was often called the iPhone 8 or iPhone X.
However, while those names were certainly helpful during pre-release discussions, they probably wouldn't have been great from a marketing perspective.
Thanks to a new report from 9to5Mac, which cites information from case makers who claim to have seen the final packaging for the next-generation iPhones, we now know -- or, at the very least, have a really good idea of -- what Apple is planning to call all three new models.
The 4.7-inch LCD model, which will succeed last year's iPhone 7, is said to be called the iPhone 8. The successor to the current 5.5-inch LCD iPhone 7 Plus will reportedly be called the iPhone 8 Plus.
And the "premium" iPhone -- the one that everyone is seemingly looking forward to -- will be known as the iPhone Edition.
This naming scheme seems rather sensible. Even though the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are rumored to sport the same form factors as the current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, except that they'll have glass backs rather than aluminum ones, Apple is reportedly bringing a whole host of improvements to the devices, including a new A11 Fusion chip, True-Tone display tech, wireless charging, and possibly much more.
Those improvements, in my view, justify a new number. After all, Apple would be downright silly to cram in all these wonderful enhancements and innovations only to name the devices in a way that implies that they are merely incremental improvements to the current models.
Further, given that Apple currently uses the name "Edition" to distinguish its premium Apple Watch models from the more mainstream models, and given that the name sounds premium -- an argument I've made before -- this seems like smart naming to me.
What seems a little bit unclear now is how Apple will name its devices going forward. Apple had previously been rumored to launch three new iPhone models next year, which would've made it easy to have an iPhone 9, 9 Plus, and yet another iPhone Edition.
However, a recent report from The Korea Herald claims that Apple canned its plans to introduce a next-generation iPhone with a 5.28-inch display and instead plans to launch its 2018 iPhone models in just two screen sizes: 5.85 inches and 6.46 inches.
In that case, it's harder to predict how Apple will market its next-generation line of phones. My best guess now is that the company would call the 5.85-inch model simply "iPhone" and then call the 6.46-inch model the "iPhone Edition."