Apple looking to simplify iPhone branding for 2018 releases, analyst predicts

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in iPhone
Apple could make a major change to the way it names successive iPhone generations this year, Guggenheim analyst Robert Cihra suggests, tipping Apple to take the opportunity to simplify what the iPhones are called when the new models launch this fall.

iPhone X rear camera


The change in numbering for last year's models compared to previous iterations of the iPhone, resulting in the skipping of the "iPhone 7s" name in favor of the iPhone 8 and the introduction of the iPhone X, may lead to "potentially simpler branding" for the popular smartphones, Cihra writes in an investor note received by AppleInsider.

"We think Apple may use this upcoming cycle to formally change its iPhone naming/branding pattern," according to the analyst, with the "mid-market LCD-based iPhone" simply called "iPhone" without any numbering. The high-end iPhone for the generation will apparently keep the "X" suffix to denote its increased specifications.

Making a change to the way it names its successive product releases is not a new idea, as evidenced by the main iPad line. The range moved from the iPad name to iPad 2 then back to The New iPad, then switching to the iPad Air name by the fifth generation, before returning to being simply called iPad.

A switch to simplify the name to iPhone and retaining the X branding could also be confusing to consumers down the line, as it could become harder to refer to specific models without some sort of identifying term.

Highlighting the lack of a "plus-sized" iPhone X last year, caused through a limited supply of OLED panels, the firm believes the existence of a 6.5-inch model in the upcoming refresh can remedy what is considered a "notable miss." There are also the "makings of a solid refresh" for the LCD-equipped model, with features carried over from the iPhone X including 3D sensing and more native optimization of on-device machine learning and augmented reality likely to help its cause.

Current rumors and speculation point to three iPhones shipping this fall, with a lower-specification 6.1-inch LCD model accompanied by 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch OLED versions.

For the current iPhone generation, Guggenheim has lowered its annual iPhone unit growth forecast from 3 percent year-on-year to flat, citing "softer-than-expected iPhone X uptake" and broadly weaker smartphone market demand in China. "It appears Apple ultimately cannot outgrow what is now a no-growth smartphone market," writes Cihra.

The expected iPhone average selling price (ASP) increase of 15 percent year-over-year is thought to help continue driving iPhone revenues up year-on-year by 14 percent.

Ahead of Apple's second quarter results, due for release on May 1, Guggenheim expects in-line results with no changes to its estimates, including revenue growth of 15 percent year-on-year to $60.9 billion, and earnings per share of $2.69, up 28 percent on last year.

Estimates for the June quarter, however, have been trimmed, with expected revenue down from $52.7 billion to $49.4 billion and EPS dropping from $2.15 to $1.93. Shipments of iPhones in that quarter are also thought to go down from the previous expectation of 42.7 million to 39.4 million.

Guggenheim continues to maintain a "buy" rating for AAPL stock, with the 12-month price target unchanged at $215.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,868member
    Oh so no 'iPhone Quadra 840 av X' model, drat!
    GeorgeBMacblastdooranton zuykovcornchiprepressthiswlym
  • Reply 2 of 46
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    iPhone Pro?
    jony0
  • Reply 3 of 46
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,607member
    “We think Apple may...”
    kruegduderepressthisjony0
  • Reply 4 of 46
    25% of the year over and Apple has far released a cut down iPad and no new macs.
    I don't care abut the bloody iPhone 
  • Reply 5 of 46
    TomETomE Posts: 136member
    As Lkrupp said above, It may or may not be: iPhone X Fall 2019 iPhone Winter 2018 iPhone 2010 where.settings shows "About this iPhone, like the MacBook or MacBook Pro, etc.)
  • Reply 6 of 46
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,571member
    I like the order and structure of the annual releases...   Even if they go by year and a qualifier -- like 2018 6.1 would be fine with me.   Using model names like 'jaguar' would become increasingly confusing....

    But, I have the feeling that Apple will be increasingly developing unique models:
    -- High End "pro-like" models
    -- Consumer grade
    -- Lower end like the SE

    Naming the OLED the "X" really blew out their naming structures...   But I'm sure that somebody at Apple thought of that and they knew where they were going back last September.

    Having an iPhone "Pro" line fits with their other product lines -- but somehow the idea of a "Pro" grade iPhone doesn't make sense like it does with Macs and iPads where professionals can have increased demands that standard consumers do not.
    airnerdrepressthis
  • Reply 7 of 46
    2018 iPhone X and X Plus. 2018 iPhone and iPhone Plus. 2018 iPhone SE. That would be more in line with both their desktop/laptop lines and the iPad line.
    edited April 2018 redgeminiparepressthisMacsplosion
  • Reply 8 of 46
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,793member

    Naming the OLED the "X" really blew out their naming structures...   But I'm sure that somebody at Apple thought of that and they knew where they were going back last September.

    Having an iPhone "Pro" line fits with their other product lines -- but somehow the idea of a "Pro" grade iPhone doesn't make sense like it does with Macs and iPads where professionals can have increased demands that standard consumers do not.

    I think they "X" models will be considered "Pro" from here on out. As you suggested, the "Pro" nomenclature just doesn't fit well with smartphones as it does with computers where an emphasis on performance and capacity is used to differentiate models.

    So the article could be right that the current numbering scheme has run its course and from here on out we'll have "iPhone" and "iPhone X". With the iPhone models on a two year upgrade cycle as the SE currently is, and the X models continuing a yearly update with the latest and greatest features.
    cornchip
  • Reply 9 of 46
    Not giving models a unique name makes no sense.  Literally everyone has to refer to the products in some way that differentiates one model from the other.  If Apple does not name the models, they receive unofficial names (which, BTW, kinda become the official names and, in my experience, are even used without hesitation by employees at Apple Stores).

    "The third-generation iPad (marketed as The new iPad, colloquially referred to as the iPad 3)" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPad_(3rd_generation))

    "iPad 6 Teardown" (https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPad+6+Teardown/105416)

    Whatever artistic reason Apple may have for not wanting to name the models needs to take a backseat to the reality of models needing names.

    MotionMan
    repressthis
  • Reply 10 of 46
    long overdue imho, I'd just call them all iPhone; available in 4" (i wish), 4.7" and 5.5".
    If need be, the X could remain differentiated as "iPhone X" alongside the standard "iPhone" range.
  • Reply 11 of 46
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,179member
    iPhone X
    iPhone
    iPhone Lite
    iPhone Mini

    Or

    iPhone Pro
    iPhone X
    iPhone Lite
    iPhone Mini
  • Reply 12 of 46
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Wasn't the X because it was the 10th anniversary model? This year won't be the 10th anniversary any more.
    GeorgeBMacdunks
  • Reply 13 of 46
    designrdesignr Posts: 398member
    I've said this before: I won; be surprised if "iPhone" becomes Phone.

    So perhaps now you have:

    Phone Pro (flagship / full-featured / most feature)
    Phone (mid level) -- probably the biggest seller
    Phone SE (entry level / small / budget)

    Obviously the designations like "SE" could be different. But you get the idea.

    edited April 2018 repressthiscornchip
  • Reply 14 of 46
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,179member
    ascii said:
    Wasn't the X because it was the 10th anniversary model? This year won't be the 10th anniversary any more.
    In my opinion it was. They skipped 9 altogether and on announcing it, tied the presentation into the first ten years of iPhone.

    However, it could vanish as a product, leaving an inheritance for the other lines or mark the tenth anniversary in a 'new dawn' sense and continue in its own right.
  • Reply 15 of 46
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,964member
    I was saying this last year before last year iPhones were released. Why does there need to be numbers? Apple doesn't release a new iPhone more than once a year. Apple ended up making the problem even worse last year. First they skipped the 7S and jumped to 8. I kind of think Apple did that because of Samesung releasing their 8's also. If they're 8 and Apple is just a 7s, people think that 8 must be newer, faster, better. That's just how people think.

    But then Apple also released a phone that's a X or TEN. So this year, Apple cold I guess go 8s or 9 I suppose, and the X could be names XI? But at some point, Next year or the year After for a 8S, 9, and 9s, they'll hit the X wall which they already used. It's just dumb at this point.

    So I was saying last year, all Apple needs to do is name them, iPhone, iPhone Plus, and iPhone Pro. That's it. With a iPhone SE thrown in also. There is ZERO need for numbers. It's the 2017, 2018, 2019, iPhone's. If you've noticed, Apple doesn't number the iPad's!!! When you go to Apple's site, you are really only picking size of iPad and Storage and color options. There's no Numbers. There's the older 12.9" iPad Pro 2015, and now the newer 2017 model. There's no numbers!!!!

    Apple made the whole number issue worse last year when Apple could have just tossed the numbers right out of the Window. There's ZERO need for numbers.
    edited April 2018 designrrepressthis
  • Reply 16 of 46
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    jbdragon said:

    Apple made the whole number issue worse last year when Apple could have just tossed the numbers right out of the Window. There's ZERO need for numbers.
    They like to keep the previous years models hanging around though, you can still buy the iPhone 6S and 7. How would we deal with that without numbers? Maybe part of the planned simplification will be not doing that any more.
  • Reply 17 of 46
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,562member
    iPhone X
    iPhone XL
    iPhone XXL
  • Reply 18 of 46
    Since we are speculating, here it is going into autumn:

    iPhone SE2 ($399-$499)
    iPhone 8 ($549-$699)
    iPhone 8 Plus ($649-$799)
    IPhone 9 ($749-$899) <-- the LCD version with FaceID
    iPhone X, series 2 ($899-$1049)
    iPhone X Plus ($999-$1149)

  • Reply 19 of 46
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,888member
    Clearly it will be:
    iPhone X
    iPhone
    iPhone SE
    tmaychristopher126
  • Reply 20 of 46
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,198member
    If they do this it won't be guaranteed that the models will all update at the same time every year, or even every year. The SE is a case in point. 

    Also they may not continue with last years version for all models, the SE is an example of that too. 

    This would reduce the pressure on their suppliers every Christmas. Of course one Christmas is going to see a drop in revenue if they do that, so it may not happen, but they are extremely pressurised by the system as it is now set up. Any failure is catastrophic.


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