Leaked iOS 11 GM build references iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus & iPhone X

A leaked iOS 11 Golden Master candidate may have just given us a viable answer to one of the biggest unknowns in terms of how Apple might market this year’s upcoming iPhones.

Having sifted through the iOS GM code, developer Steve Troughton-Smith has dug up references to potential official names for the phones Apple will unveil on Tuesday.

Specifically, code strings mention “iPhone 8”, “iPhone 8 Plus” and “iPhone X”.

“Maybe the DeviceTree is lying about the marketing name, maybe not. But right now, D22 thinks it is iPhone X, so that’s good enough for me,” he wrote in a separate tweet.

“D22” is a code-name for Apple’s top-tier iPhone model with a bezel-less display.

The latest findings corroborate a report from Dutch site iCulture, citing a reliable carrier source, that the flagship OLED iPhone would get called iPhone X, with the iterative updates to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models respectively named iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

9to5Mac suggested that the OLED-iPhone could be branded as “iPhone Edition,” but that likely won’t be the case because the leaked iOS 11 firmware fails to reference that marketing name.

I think it’s a wise decision to not only use the special naming to mark 10 years of the iPhone, but also eschew the S-branding which has become a bit long in the tooth now.

To many folks, S-branding has always suggested a modest upgrade.

From a marketing standpoint, it makes a lot of sense to advertise iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus as iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus to suggest they’re not at all iterative.

The bigger question to ask here is whether Apple is retiring S-branding for good. And if so, will next year’s phones be named “iPhone 9”, “iPhone 9 Plus” and “iPhone XI”?

In my opinion, 2018 phones and subsequent models should be named “iPhone”, “iPhone Plus” and “iPhone X” as Apple does with Macs—you’d say you bought a 2020 iPhone, for example.

What do you think? Could this be a one-off move on Apple’s part or are we witnessing a bigger change in iPhone branding? As always, leave your comments below.