It seems like only yesterday the iPhone X was released and with it came a flood of questions like “How much?” and “Do we say ‘x’ like the letter or is it ‘x’ like the roman numeral for ten?” and “Okay but really how much???” Now, rumors about the new iPhone being called "XS" are spreading throughout the internet, and with it have come a bunch of people poking fun at the rumored name.
Is it “XS” like “Extra Small?” Is it Xs like a bunch of the letter X? Is it meant to sound like “excess” or “access” or “exes” as in “this phone is basically a graveyard for all my past relationships"? Is it somehow a roman numeral thing again? The internet has questions, and when the internet has questions, it wastes no time coming up with its own answers.
Let’s start with the source of the rumors. Last week, the blog 9to5Mac leaked what it claims are pictures, names, and details of the forthcoming new iPhone, set to be officially announced at the September 12 Apple event. In addition to leaked photos of the new Apple Watch, the blog posted the rumored name of the new iPhone: the iPhone XS.
This follows the naming convention of previous iPhone iterations. As Business Insider points out, Apple releases an “s” version of the iPhone model released the previous year. There was the iPhone 5 and then the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 6 and then the iPhone 6S, and so on. Since the iPhone X was the last model released, a phone named “iPhone XS” would follow this naming convention. Of course, the internet was quick to point out some potential mishaps with it.
First, there were those who immediately read the name as an abbreviation for “extra small.” Some asked whether an iPhone Medium and an iPhone Large would follow. The name is practically begging the internet to ask, what is this...a phone for ants? Needless to say, Twitter is enjoying itself joking about this rumored teeny, tiny iPhone.
Then, the jokes took a slightly more literary turn with some Twitter users noting that “XS” could sound like “access” or “excess” or even “exes.” Some pointed out the irony in an “iPhone Excess.” Some asked when their iPhone INXS would be available. Everyone began to scrape the bottom of the joke barrel and the phone hasn’t even been released or officially announced yet.
If you’re just here for the wordplay (and honestly, who isn’t), perhaps you’ll appreciate the fact that there are multiple entire books dedicated to individual letters that sound like works (e.g. XS could be read as “excess.”) Maybe an iPhone CT will come soon for smartphone users who are in metropolitan areas or (N D CT, if you will). Maybe an iPhone E-T B-T will be developed for those who were unsatisfied by the tininess of the iPhone XS.
If you’re indifferent about its name and what that name may or may not sound like, perhaps you will be entertained by the other leaked information. According to 9to5mac, their sources claim this newest iPhone will also come in a gold color option, which was unavailable in the previous design. They also claim that two of the to-be-released phones measure 5.8 inches and 6.5 inches, both notably comparable sizes to previous iPhone designs. So, while it may be small in name, the actual dimensions of the phone would be perfectly average.
Again, we’ll have to wait until September 12 to find out whether the iPhone XS is, in fact, its actual name. However, 9to5Mac’s sources are pretty confident about that detail. Unfortunately, we’ll all have to tolerate the bad “extra small” jokes and “excess” tweets long before and after this new phone is released.