iPhone 11 Pro: New Apple handsets could change naming conventions, reports suggest

Apple faces complicated branding questions with new line-up

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 15 August 2019 16:53
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Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple Inc., speaks at an Apple event at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park on September 12, 2018 in Cupertino, California
Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple Inc., speaks at an Apple event at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park on September 12, 2018 in Cupertino, California

Apple could unveil a new naming convention alongside its new iPhones, reports suggest.

The company faces a difficult branding problem over the new handsets, which are due out next month. As such, it is unclear how Apple will choose to name them.

The current line-up is made up of the iPhone XS, which is the luxury version; the XS Max, which is the same but bigger; and the iPhone XR, which is cheaper but in the middle of the sizes.

The new phones are rumoured to have the same rough structure, which has led to questions about how they could be named. Apple could stick with the roman numerals and name the new phone XI, for instance, or could drop the numbers in the same way as it did with the iPads.

But a new series of reports suggest that the new phones could actually be called the iPhone 11. The luxury version is rumoured to be called the iPhone 11 Pro, according to the same reports, and the bigger version is due to keep the "Max" branding.

That would leave the iPhone 11 in the place of the iPhone XR, the iPhone 11 Pro in the place of the iPhone XS, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max taking over from the iPhone XS Max.

The latest suggestions come from company ESR, which sells phone cases. It is in keeping with a whole host of reports, however, many of which have discussed the possible Pro branding.

Using the Pro name would bring the phones in line with the iPad, Mac and MacBook, all of which use the word to mark out the most high-performance and high-price versions.

Case companies often act on leaks from within Apple's supply chain, as they rush to get their products ready for the launch of new phones, meaning that their designs can often be an early indication of the details of unreleased products. But they have been known to be wrong in the past, especially with the naming and branding of products, which can be changed at the last moment.

Apple is expected to unveil the new phones in the second week of September, at a media event that will be broadcast around the world. All three of the phones are then expected to arrive around two weeks later.

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