iPhone X? How do you pronounce that?

Commentary: In what appears to be the latest leak from iOS 11 code, Apple's new flagship phone is called the iPhone X. But is that pronounced "Ex"?

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Enlarge Image

"Hey, come meet my ex."


So now we know. 

Or, at least, we think we know. 

Irish iPhone programming guru Steve Troughton-Smith now feels sure he has the names of the three phones to be launched by Apple on Tuesday.

Should you have had your fingers in your ears and your eyes permanently shaded from the web for the last few months, the idea is that there will be two less radical phones, featuring (perhaps) wireless charging and better cameras, and one more magical, revolutionary device that ought to be a big departure from the past.

Many thought these models would be called the iPhone 7S, iPhone 7S Plus and iPhone 8. Which seemed a little dull.

However, Troughton-Smith has now revealed that they'll (probably) be called the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and -- ta-da -- the iPhone X.

This is something of a departure from the last rumor, which positively insisted that the most expensive phone will be called the iPhone Edition.

If it is the iPhone X (an homage to the iPhone's 10th anniversary), that still leaves one major and very thorny concern: How do you pronounce it?

We've been here before. Remember when Mac OS X came out? There was much consternation as to whether it should be pronounced Mac OS Ten or Mac OS Ex. 

It seemed to cause almost as many verbal fisticuffs as the GIF versus JIF debate. 

Personally, I always referred to it as Mac OS Ex. Which is why, if Troughton-Smith's information is correct, I believe Apple will launch the iPhone Ex on Tuesday. I fear, though, that many will mount high horses and insist this is just a pithier way of saying 10.

They'll quote Steve Jobs, who was clear in pronouncing it "Mac OS 10." (See video below.)

But real people will look at the name and see what they see. The word "iPhone" and the letter X. Because human minds are fundamentally lazy, they'll therefore insist this is the iPhone Ex. 

No one ever thought that the X-Men might be the 10-Men, did they? No one ever watched "The X Factor" and insisted it was the "The 10 Factor." And "X" has a powerful mystery about it. We marvel at the "X-Files," which have never been the "10-Files." 

As for the drama-worthiness of 10, well, it's an old Bo Derek romantic comedy.

Then again, perhaps Apple will create a whole ad campaign about the pronunciation to ensure that everyone gets it "right."

Apple didn't respond to a request for comment. 

I can see, though, many in chichi bars insisting that they have "a new Ex," with their friends eyeing them quizzically and wondering how many drinks they've downed.

Goodbye, home button? Get ready for the iPhone's biggest change ever.

Apple event: What we expect at the big Sept. 12 iPhone (and more) launch.