This is How to Pronounce iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR

BY Evan Selleck

Published 13 Sep 2018

There was a time when Apple’s naming scheme was pretty straight forward, even after it adopted the “S” addition. But we may have jumped off that ship these days.

Last year, Apple introduced the iPhone X. That’s meant to be as the Roman numeral for ten, and not the actual letter “X”. But, as you can imagine, that led to plenty of confusion across the board. And it’s also safe to say that people still call it “the X”, as in not the Roman numeral but the actual letter, despite Apple’s best efforts to christen last year’s flagship iPhone as the reinvention of the lineup after ten years.

Here we are one year later and Apple has three new iPhones, all of which adopt that Roman numeral as the baseline model number. We’ve got the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR. Now, the easy joke here is right there at the start. The “iPhone Excess”, because it’s the lowest of all the low-hanging fruit. Is the iPhone an excess? Well, Apple put it right there in the name… But in reality it’s actually the “iPhone Ten S”, which isn’t ridiculous on its own.

iPhone 10S probably would have been okay, though. Maybe.

And then from there we’ve got the “iPhone XS Max”, which is not to say that the bigger iPhone is the maximum amount of excess that you can get from the iPhone lineup — even though it probably is. This is the “iPhone Ten S Max”, and we’re starting to learn that Apple is probably going to go with “Max” for the foreseeable future. Until they go with “Ultimate” or something.

Finally, we’ve got the iPhone XR, which, unfortunately, does not stand for “iPhone Tenner”, but you could probably get away with that one if you wanted to. The “iPhone Ten R” is Apple’s less expensive iPhone option, with the LCD display and a few other important changes when compared to the iPhone X (Ten!) lineup to keep the price down. It also has all the color options one could probably want, which is definitely a nice bonus.

So in the grand scheme of things, Apple’s naming scheme at this point is pretty silly. Especially the iPhone XR, which really sounds like a motorcycle brand to me more than a smartphone. But here we are, and now we’ve all got to start wondering what comes next. Are we going to look at “iPhone XI”? And then after that the “iPhone XIS”? Things are only going to keep getting interesting from here on out, that’s for sure.

What do you think of Apple’s naming scheme?