iPhone 9 might have a new name, and it's a real throwback

iPhone SE
(Image credit: Future)

Could the iPhone SE 2 (or iPhone 9) simply be called 'the iPhone'? The latest iPhone SE 2 rumor suggests Apple will ditch the numerical naming system as it has for the base model iPad.

A quick recap: Several sources have confirmed Apple plans to launch a low-cost, small-screen iPhone this spring. Case makers have already taken bets on the new phone's shape, despite coronavirus threatening to slow down production. 

But conflicting reports have raised a question mark around the upcoming iPhone's name. Some suggest it'll be called the iPhone SE 2, as it'll serve a similar purpose among Apple's flagship offerings as the original iPhone SE. Others say it's the iPhone 9, because Apple skipped over it between the iPhone 8 and iPhone X series. (And the new phone will reportedly be the same size as the iPhone 8.)

Front Page Tech's Jon Prosser suggests the name for this upcoming iPhone could be neither. An unnamed source told him that Apple's next smartphone is called "iPhone." Yep, just iPhone.  

While Front Page Tech's report must be taken with a grain of salt, they do make a compelling case. It's odd from a marketing perspective to call the upcoming budget iPhone the iPhone 9, when the iPhone X and iPhone 11 obviously exist. Calling a new iPhone a bypassed number makes it sound a bit like old news

Plus Apple has dropped numerical naming from its base model iPad, instead identifying it by the year of its release. The company could certainly do the same for the iPhone. 

Prosser's source also says the 2020 iPhone will cost $399 for the 64GB model and $450 for the 128GB model. Once again, this shouldn't be taken at face value. But it is on par with previous iPhone 9 price -- err, iPhone price -- rumors.

Whatever the new iPhone is called, I hope we find out soon. It'll be a relief to stop calling it the iPhone 9/iPhone SE/just iPhone.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef. 

  • jack_straw
    I suggested this as a joke a few months ago - "What if Apple just calls it 'iPhone', so that retailers get the pleasure of appending lengthy qualifiers to the end of the name each year, like 'iPhone (2021, 2nd generation)' ala iPad?"

    Lo and behold, Phil Schiller decided to Steve Jobs-ify the new iPhone name, rather than going with random model names that he thinks sound like cool fast cars (what he said about XR).