Word on the street is that Apple is planning on breaking free from its current branding for the iPhone and may be moving forward with something that sounds more like it came from a science fiction novel.
Apple’s current customer base is currently conditioned to a typical two-year product life cycle. One year, the company will release a new iPhone with numeric indicators, like iPhone 6. The following year, a version with a hardware and/or software upgrade is typically released with the “S” appended, like iPhone 6S.

This numbering pattern has been fairly easy for consumers to follow, but has made Apple’s phone line seem – at a glance – behind the numbers of competitors. As Forbes notes, by projecting out to 2018 a new prospective iPhone 8S – assuming this year would see the release of the iPhone 8 – Apple would fall behind rival Samsung, which would be potentially releasing the Galaxy S9. This would make Apple – psychologically, at least – be behind their competitor.

This has led some to believe that Apple may jump ahead and make the next iPhone the iPhone X. This would resonate with users and strengthen their footing in the marketing place. There is some precedent for this, as well. For example, the Windows operating system went from Windows 8 to Windows 10 – exactly the same jump Apple would conceivably make. Apple has also used X before, when moving from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X. It’s also interesting to remember that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone’s original launch, making it all the more possible that an X could serve as an appropriate move to bring the naming convention in line with the yearly schedule.

There’s some credence to the rumor, as well, says Forbes. The outlet reports that some of the latest orders from Apple’s suppliers are using the iPhone X name, which means that it could well be the name of the next phone. Forbes writer Ewan Spence closes with a caveat, though, suggesting that the X name could just be a code name until a final branding is decided upon. For now, all we can do is wait to see what Apple releases.

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