Apple’s next iPhone specs have leaked all over the internet, but it’s still unclear how the company will brand its next three smartphones. Last year’s iPhone X threw its regular naming pattern into disarray, but a new series of cases from manufacturer Totalee spotted Thursday reveals how the company could pull itself out of its bind.
The cases, spotted by a Reddit user called “Lonz123,” suggest Apple will dub the $699 6.1-inch LCD model the “iPhone 9.” This would place the device, branding-wise, between last year’s iPhone 8 and iPhone X models — the latter of which uses the Roman numeral for 10, according to Apple marketing literature. The $899 5.8-inch OLED model that serves as a successor to last year’s iPhone X will be called “iPhone XS,” echoing the previous naming conventions where a numbered phone release is followed by an “S” year with minimal design changes. In keeping with this, the listings suggest the $999 6.5-inch OLED model will be the “iPhone XS Plus,” also following Apple’s previous naming conventions.
Totalee cases are well-regarded by reviewers, but its reputation for leaking devices is less clear. Case leaks have proven reliable at times in the past, with Catcher Technology’s iPhone 7 images proving almost perfect. A similar leak in 2009 also correctly depicted the then-upcoming iPhone 3G.
Case makers are well-positioned to leak such information. Tim Hickman, the owner of maker Hard Candy, told BusinessWeek in 2011 that factories leak schematics to designers so they can get a leg up on manufacturing. While this pays off at times, Hickman was burned when his firm spent $50,000 on steel moldings based on leaked details of a “teardrop-shaped” iPhone 5, only for Apple to unexpectedly release the iPhone 4S with almost zero changes from the iPhone 4.
Whether Apple will follow this convention when its phones launch as expected in September remains to be seen, but not everyone believes the company will use such a structure. Guggenheim Partners research analyst Robert Cihra claimed earleir this year that “after some mismatched mix with the latest iPhone 6 vs. 7 vs. 8 vs. X, we think Apple may use this upcoming cycle to formally change its iPhone naming/branding pattern to now simply start calling the mid-market LCD-based iPhone ‘iPhone’ (no longer numbering them), while keeping the high-end identified by its ‘X.’”
Totalee sells each case in nine different configurations: five variations of matte-colored cases for $25, three variations of glossy cases for $25, and a single leather case for $29.