Steve Jobs reviews the iPhone X — pt. 2

Steve Jobs paces back and forth in a small conference room at Apple Park.

“So the last iPhone was the iPhone 7. Correct?”

“Yes.” Phil Schiller responds.

“And we have these two new phones?”

“Yes, the iPhone 8 and iPhone ten.”

Steve giggles. Phil frowns.


“Do I even have to say?” Steve is almost cracking up, “You missed out nine!”

“No we-”

“So we have iPhone 8 and iPhone 9. Correct?”

“No. iPhone 8 and iPhone 10.”


“But we’ll spell it ‘X’”

“Spell it ‘X’? Like ecks?”



“Yeah roman. X.”

“So iPhone VIII and iPhone X? This Doesn’t explain why there’s no iPhone IX”

“No. iPhone 8. And iPhone X. Pronounced 10.”

“Phil for fuck sake you’re losing me here.”

Phil gets up and writes on the whiteboard ‘iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X’


Steve strokes his chin.

“So Phil. What the fuck were you thinking? Have you printed the boxes yet?”


“X? Fucking no nine? Fucking ten? What’s happened? We can’t fucking count to ten at Apple any more?”

“Steve, listen-”

“What comes after eight Phil?”

“Steve,” Craig Federighi pipes up. Steve whips his head almost 180 degrees and stares.

“We’ve named it X to differentiate it from the current-”

“You got kids Craig?”

Craig pauses, “Yes, I have one daught-”

“How old?”

“She’s four. Steve-”

“Get her on FaceTime.”

“Steve for god’s sake”

“Get her on Facetime.”

Craig sighs and pulls out his iPhone X and FaceTimes his wife.

“Miranda? Hey it’s me. Could you put Isabelle on the phone? Yeah… Yeah I just- It’s Steve, he wants to- Yeah just put Isabelle on the phone.”

A young girl’s face appears on the screen, smiling. Steve grabs the phone.

“Isabelle?” he barks.


“How old are you Isabelle?”

“I’m four years old!”

“What comes after the number 8 Isabelle?”

Isabelle knows this. She smiles and opens her mouth to reply but Steve slams the phone down.


Craig looks down to see if the glass back of his iPhone X cracked. Phil rubs his forehead while Steve paces even pacier than before.

“Got a joke, Phil.”

“What Steve?”

“I’ve got a joke. Want to hear it?”

Phil looks up and does an ‘ok?’ shrug.

“What happened to the fucking iPhone 9?”

“I don’t know Steve.”

“The iPhone 7 iPhone ate the fucking iPhone 9.”

Craig can’t see any cracks but his wife is FaceTiming back. He slides the phone into his pocket.

“Steve. This is the plan. We can’t keep calling iPhones by numbers past 10. Right?”

Steve stops pacing and rests his nose on his hands in a pray position and thinks.

“Right.” he agrees, “iPhone 23 would sound dumb.”

“Right.” Phil continues, “So we’re stopping at 10. Like we did with Mac OS X.”

Steve gives a nod, “Keep going.”

“Now. We’re in the strange position of launching an iPhone 8 and a whole new model, not just an upgraded model. And with this new phone begins a truly new generation. So we need a new title. Something that stands out. A strong brand.”

Phil pauses for a beat.

“X!” he exclaims, “It’s perfect. A homage to the iPhone reaching ten years. And a brand connection to our operating system. And X’s look fucking cool Steve. So. iPhone X. I mean TEN. Spelt X.”

Shit thinks Craig. There is a crack.