The iPhone SE
was an extremely popular iPhone among consumers thanks to its impressive hardware and low price tag. Rumors about a direct or indirect successor have been floating around for years, but next month such a device could finally arrive.
The iPhone 9 & 9 Plus are less than a month away
Before the COVID-19 pandemic forced half of the planet into lockdown, Apple was planning an important press event for today, March 31. Several product announcements were planned including two new smartphones – the iPhone 9 and iPhone 9 Plus.
These follow the philosophy of the original iPhone SE by combining powerful hardware with a lower price tag, but are reported based on the iPhone 8
and iPhone 8 Plus
instead and will be aimed at owners of iPhone 6
and iPhone 7
Apple was ultimately forced to scrap its press event and chose to delay the iPhone 9 until June. But economic pressures pushed the company to make a U-turn and rethink the possibility of launching the smartphones in April.
It pressed ahead with mass production plans and, at a meeting last week, discussed the matter of launch. A second briefing among executives was reportedly held yesterday and, according to Jon Prosser
, Apple has now settled on some specific dates.
The iPhone 9 and iPhone 9 Plus will be announced on Wednesday, April 15, if no further changes are made. Pre-orders are expected to begin immediately ahead of shipments, which are reportedly scheduled for one week later on April 22.
What to expect from the iPhone 9 series
As mentioned above, the iPhone 9 series will be heavily based on the 2017 iPhone 8 series. The standard model features a 4.7-inch LCD screen whereas the larger variant is expected to offer a 5.5-inch display.
Both of these look set to be coupled with extremely thick bezels and the traditional Touch ID home button rather than Face ID. The similarities continue over on the rear because the smaller iPhone 9 is expected to feature a single rear camera and the Plus-branded variant should include two.
Unfortunately, there is limited information available right now in that department. Some reports say there will be no camera upgrades at all, others predict Apple could adopt the iPhone XR
/XS cameras, and there are even a few that mention the iPhone 11
One thing that will almost certainly be borrowed from the iPhone 11 series is the processor, though. The iPhone 9 will be powered by the A13 Bionic chipset coupled with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, although a 128GB variant is reportedly in the works.
How much will the iPhone 9 and iPhone 9 Plus cost?
Pricing is where things get interesting. It has been reported countless times in the past that Apple is planning to price the 64GB iPhone 9 at $399 in the US, which means the larger iPhone 9 Plus will probably retail at $499.
As mentioned above, 128GB variants are apparently in the work and these should cost $50 more. However, the possibility that this pricing model is inaccurate should certainly be mentioned.
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus that these smartphones are going to replace currently retail at $449 and $549 respectively. Apple is now pivoting towards services and isn't as worried about maintaining such high margins with hardware, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused demand for smartphones to drop, coupled with pressure from investors could still push Apple to retain this pricing structure for the iPhone 9 series rather than going lower.