Apple’s naming and pronunciation of the iPhone X is sure to be a hot debate topic for the next year. While Apple Chief Designer, Jony Ive referred to the new device as the “iPhone 10” during its unveiling Tuesday, several fans have taken to social media with the insistence that the Roman numeral X will more often be spoken as “Ecks.”

Many have pointed out the connection between the iPhone X and the computer software, Mac OS X, which is officially Mac OS “10,” but many also say Mac OS “Ecks.” However, it is possible that iPhone X, in stylization and pronunciation, is, in fact, a tribute to Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs. Apple is well known for using current devices and software as test beds for future products and MacOS and the iPhone have been closely linked since the smartphone’s inception.

“MacOS X was the software platform adapted for the original iPhone. It was set up in 2007 as the software we know for the iPhone,” IHS Markit analyst, Ian Fogg told International Business Times. “I think iPhone X has a special meaning to Apple because it’s symbolic of Steve Jobs’ return to Apple and symbolic of the renewal of the Mac with the modern operating system.”  

Ahead of Apple’s 2017 product announcements, the company paid tribute to Jobs, who passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2011. The keynote was held at the Steve Jobs theater at the new Apple Park in Cupertino, Calif. Emotions were high while Apple CEO, Tim Cook spoke of remembering Jobs as Apple prepared for the Sept. 12 keynote.  

“You definitely felt the team was getting choked up as Tim was talking about Steve,” Creative Strategies principal analyst, Carolina Milanesi told IBT. These two worked together for so long. Sometimes we forget they’re human beings. [They] do develop connections and ties.”

What Will The Next iPhone Be Called?

After the unveiling of Apple's super premium smartphone as the iPhone X, many have wondered how future devices may be named. Speculations indicate, and many analysts agree, that Apple may drop the number sequence altogether and branding may become similar to MacBooks and iPads. Moor Insights & Strategy, principal analyst, Patrick Moorhead suggested consumers may see an “iPhone Pro,” moving forward while Fogg suggested there may be an “iPhone Plus” or possibly even a resurfacing old older monikers, perhaps an “iPhone Nano.”

“There’s a point where the numbers are just getting tired. Ten -- ten years is important, it's a milestone. Once you get to iPhone 20, you don’t feel as excited,” Milanesi said. She noted the “X” in iPhone X could also be seen as a break in the product line.  

There is no telling how much of Jobs’ influence will be seen in future iPhones. The iPhone X is already unlike most prior Apple smartphones, featuring an OLED display, a unique, thin-bezel design, Face ID facial recognition and wireless charging. However, the X stylization and 10 pronunciation lens to the minimalist aesthetic, under which modern Apple was developed.

“It was like one last thing,” Milanesi said. “Maybe this was the last homage and the last link to Jobs and from next year we start fresh.”