When Apple unveiled the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X (pronounced iPhone ten) scores of fans were quick to spot a missing number. So what happened to the iPhone 9?
As Sky News Technology Correspondent, Tom Cheshire, noted, this has been the most unApple of iPhone launches.
“We’ve abandoned ‘nine’, apparently, and with it the neat logic that had named iPhones to date,” Cheshire said.
“Other handset makers like Samsung offered a charcuterie of devices with different names; Apple was, until now, always cleaner.”
Between the devices announced on Tuesday; the £699 iPhone 8, the £799 iPhone 8 Plus, and the £999 edge-to-edge display of the iPhone X – there seems to be room for a £899 iPhone 9.
Alas, no such device seems to exist, with Apple plumping to jump from 8 to X, with no mention at all of why.
The Roman numeral X can be understood.
It is a clear nod to a decade since the first iPhone was released, and chief executive Tim Cook was keen to labour that seminal presentation in Apple’s new subterranean Steve Jobs Theatre in Cupertino.
:: Windows 8 to Windows 10
Microsoft also missed out on releasing a Windows 9, instead favouring to jump straight from Windows 8 to Windows 10.
The rumours in the technology community for this ranged from the classical Windows-bashing to more sinister marketing ploys.
Some remembered Windows 95 and 98 and suggested that legacy Microsoft software was so poorly written that if it detected a Windows operating system beginning with the numeral 9 then it wouldn’t work properly.
The more likely rumour is that Microsoft did this to encourage Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 10, aided by Microsoft’s plans to allow free upgrades for a brief period.
:: Next up, the iPhone IX?
Apple is unlikely to move into a permanent Roman numeral naming convention, and the X is, on some level, a token of the culture of sensitivity and eternal mourning for Steve Jobs at the company.
Whether the iPhone 9 will ever see daylight remains unclear.
Apple could call their next device the iPhone 9, the iPhone 11 or the iPhone XI.
What we can say for sure is that throughout the presentation Apple’s speakers pronounced iPhone X as iPhone ten, even if the promotional materials for the phone exclusively use the Roman numeral.
This, in Apple’s eye, is the iPhone 10 – although it is the iPhone 9 too, and in some ways it is the iPhone 8, with the iPhone 8 being merely the iPhone 7S.