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Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple's 2018 iPhones could be called iPhone X Plus, iPhone X2

Whatever Apple goes with, analysts say the names will be nice and simple.

iphone-x-unboxing-05

What comes after the iPhone X?

Sarah Tew/CNET

What do we call the phone that comes after the iPhone X? We've wondered that ourselves, especially since Apple effectively killed the iPhone 9 after bringing out the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X this past September. 

Don't hold your breath for the iPhone 11, according to analysts from Guggenheim Securities (via AppleInsider), who said that Apple could keep the iPhone X branding for its most premium models, and refer to its other new iPhones as simply "iPhone" without any additional numbering.

Rumors suggest that Apple will launch three new iPhones in September:

  • A 5.8-inch OLED iPhone (said to be the flagship iPhone X successor)
  • A 6.5-inch OLED iPhone (Apple's "Plus" variant)
  • A cheaper 6.1-inch LCD iPhone

If Guggenheim Securities' naming structure holds true, the two OLED iPhones may keep the "X" branding and be called something like the"iPhone X Plus" and "iPhone X2" or "iPhone X (2018)" or just "New iPhone X". The midrange LCD iPhone might simply be called the "New iPhone" or "6.1-inch iPhone" or "iPhone (2018)" without a corresponding number.

This would take a similar tack to Apple's iPad line, which ditched generational numbers after the iPad 2, now referring to each new base iPad as "iPad." Special versions of the iPad were given suffixes like iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad Pro. Right now Apple lists the "new" iPad and iPad Pro on its website, not to be mistaken with other generations of iPad or iPad Pro. (But for some reason the iPad Mini 4 is still given a number).

Rallying around the iPhone X or the even vaguer "iPhone" may seem more confusing than simplifying, but Apple's otherwise stuck. Apple leaped from the iPhone 7 in 2016 to iPhone 8 and iPhone X (pronounced "ten") in 2017, skipping the iPhone 9 and introducing Roman numerals into the mix. It also signaled the end of Apple's iPhone "S" cycle, which Apple has been using every other year starting with the iPhone 3GS in 2009 up to the iPhone 6S in 2015.

Whatever it decides, the names of those 2018 iPhones are forcing Apple to think different. 

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.