Apple's next handset will reportedly be the iPhone 9

Apple's next handset will reportedly be the iPhone 9
Sometime during the first quarter of next year, Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone SE 2. Well, actually the device might be launched under a different name, but we will get back to that in a minute. First, let's talk about the handset. The first iPhone SE was released back in March 2016 in response to those who felt that the six-month-old 4.7-inch iPhone 6s display was too large, or that the iPhone had become too expensive.

So Apple brought back the iPhone 5s design, replaced the A7 SoC with the A9 chipset, doubled the memory to 2GB, and took out the 8MP rear camera replacing it with a 12MP snapper. It also bumped the battery capacity higher by 3.4% to 1624mAh. The original iPhone SE was available with two storage configurations, 16GB ($399) or 64GB ($499). A year later, Apple discontinued those two models and replaced them with the 32GB and 128GB variations for $399 and $499 respectively. The iPhone SE became fairly popular, especially in a market like India; the country is the second-largest smartphone market globally, but per capita income is low. Apple even ended up producing the model in India as a way to sidestep a tariff that would have added $100 to the cost of each unit.

Last year, a hot rumor indicated that Apple was going to release an iPhone SE 2 with a small notched screen, Face ID and the TrueDepth Camera. It essentially was going to look like a mini-version of the iPhone X. But Apple apparently changed its mind and said that it wanted to focus on the full-sized models it had planned for that year. Now it appears that a sequel for the iPhone SE is back in play. Speculation calls for the device to sport the design of 2017's iPhone 8, but it will reportedly be equipped with this year's powerful A13 Bionic chipset. Thus you can expect a 4.7-inch LCD display carrying a 750 x 1334 resolution on the phone. Memory will likely get a 1GB boost to 3GB. The price will possibly start at $399 for a model with 64GB of storage, rising to $499 for a unit carrying 128GB or 256GB of storage. The handset will come with Touch ID and will not support 3D Touch.

One report says that it is likely Apple will brand the iPhone SE sequel the iPhone 9

According to Macotakara, it is likely that the iPhone SE sequel will be branded the iPhone 9 since it looks like the iPhone 8 but with improved specs. TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo originally forecast that Apple would sell between 30 million and 40 million units of the iPhone SE 2 sequel next year, but reduced that estimate to a range between 20 million and 30 million handsets. Color options are believed to be Space Gray, Silver, and Red. And Kuo believes that the iPhone SE 2 design that we saw last year with the notched screen and the thin bezels will resurface early in 2021.

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Since the iPhone 9 will be a budget model, it most likely wouldn't offer 5G connectivity; for that, consumers will have to wait for the 2020 flagships that will be announced next September. Those phones could include the iPhone 12 Pro with a 6.1 OLED screen, a triple-camera setup, a Time of Flight (ToF) sensor and 5G support. The iPhone 12 Pro Max will have similar specs to the iPhone 12 Pro but will feature a 6.7-inch OLED panel and a larger capacity battery. The iPhone 12 Plus/Max is the sequel to the iPhone 11 which means you should expect a dual-camera setup on the back; instead of an LCD display, this model will come with an OLED screen, and 5G support. And for those who want a smaller phone, the iPhone 12 will carry the same specs as the iPhone 12 Plus/Max but with a smaller 5.4-inch OLED display.

It all sounds unlikely to be sure, but we have to respect the source; Ming-Chi Kuo has been one of the most, if not THE most, accurate Apple analyst. As an example, back in February 2017, seven months before Apple officially announced the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, Kuo revealed the screen sizes for all three models. He also called the front-facing camera on the iPhone X (which we still called iPhone 8 at the time) "revolutionary" and knew all about its 3D mapping capabilities. So for now, it is a strong possibility that all of these models are going to be unveiled next year.

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