Apple has announced the release of the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X, but the iPhone 9 is nowhere to be found.
At a keynote event on September 12, Apple unveiled the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus, which are fairly similar to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 plus but with upgraded processors, displays, and cameras. They also have a glass back and allow users to charge them wirelessly. Later in the press conference, Apple announced the iPhone X, which is pronounced “iPhone 10.” This much more expensive model has no home screen; it’s able to recognize the user’s face, and so the phone opens as soon as you pick it up and look at it.
On Twitter, viewers of the keynote had one lingering question: what happened to the iPhone 9? Why is Apple skipping from 8 to 10?
Skipping Iphone 9 is an odd choice
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) September 12, 2017
Tough break, iPhone 9. You'll never exist.
— Neil Miller (@rejects) September 12, 2017
"There ain't no iPhone 9 and there never was" pic.twitter.com/8EH0tCoikK
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) September 12, 2017
I want somebody to do an interview with the bitter, never released iPhone 9
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) September 12, 2017
WE MUST NEVER SPEAK OF THE IPHONE 9. WE WILL NOT SPEAK OF IT. IT NEVER WAS. IT NEVER WILL BE.
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) September 12, 2017
So, will the iPhone 9 be an eternally missing link, an alternate-dimension device? Like the way Palm Pilots skipped from V to VII?
— Clive Thompson (@pomeranian99) September 12, 2017
Hey guys, do you know why they skipped ahead to iPhone X?
Because iPhone 8 9.
Thanks for reading my tweet.
— Matt Tobey (@mtobey) September 12, 2017
— Verity Milligan (@Vemsteroo) September 12, 2017
Indiana Jones and the Search for iPhone 9 #AppleEvent
— .ashley. (@AshleyEsqueda) September 12, 2017
The actual reason for this seems to be that Apple wanted to release the iPhone X in conjunction with the 10 year anniversary of the first iPhone, which hit store shelves in 2007. If they called this one the iPhone 9 and waited to release the iPhone X next year, they would just barely be missing the opportunity to release a product with 10 in the name on the 10 year anniversary, and so they skipped ahead.
Apple has already proven that they don’t really care that much about having a consistent naming convention for their mobile devices. First there was the iPhone in 2007, which was followed up by the iPhone 3G. This was not because it was the third iPhone but because it included 3G networking; there never was an iPhone 2. Then there was the iPhone 3GS, but then after that was the iPhone 4, and then the iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 7. Apple quickly abandoned the idea of the number after “iPhone” signifying what level of wireless technology it supported and soon just started listening them in order. But now they’re deciding to let the number signify something else, in this case the fact that 2017 is the device’s 10th anniversary.
Weirdly, this is not the first time that a technology company has skipped the number 9. With Windows, Microsoft skipped right from Windows 8 to Windows 10, never releasing a Windows 9.
If there's anything we learned from today, it's that Apple's brazenness in copying @Microsoft extends to skipping the 9th version of things.
— David Chen (@davechensky) September 12, 2017
The iPhone X costs $999, and it will be released on November 3.