Could iOS 14 actually be called iPhone OS? This leaker thinks so

iPhone 11 Pro Max
(Image credit: TechRadar)

As the Apple WWDC 2020 keynote approaches, we may see some rebranding of the company's software: a leak claims that iOS will be renamed iPhone OS.

That comes courtesy of noted leaker Jon Prosser. This time, he simply tweeted ‘iPhone OS’:

Given the proximity to Apple’s WWDC 2020 event, which starts June 22, it’s possible that Apple will take the opportunity to rebrand iOS to iPhone OS, if this tweet is accurate. In that case, iOS 14 would likely be iPhone OS 14.

Why make the switch? Possibly to further delineate the iPhone’s operating system from iPadOS, which has been adding features and capabilities to distinguish itself from iOS since it was released in September 2019. 

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Will iPhone OS be different from iOS?

Since this leak is just two words, we can’t really divine any insight into how iPhone OS would differ from iOS, if at all. 

Perhaps it’s simply a renaming convention – and, to be clear, a second renaming, since Apple originally changed the name from iPhone OS to iOS back in June 2010. While it’s been a decade under the iOS moniker, now that the operating system has split from covering both iPhones and iPads, it would make sense to switch back to plainly stating which OS supports which device. (That would leave out iPod Touch models, though.)

Which doesn’t mean that the operating systems will be totally different from each other: a leak back in February suggested iOS 14 (or iPhone OS 14) could inherit iPadOS features like the app switcher. 

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David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.