Apple's iPhone 9 leaks in all its iPhone 8-inspired glory

Apple's iPhone 9 leaks in all its iPhone 8-inspired glory
Although Apple killed the 2018-released iPhone XS and XS Max, as well as the ancient iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, on the heels of the iPhone 11 family announcement a few months ago, "iFans" can still purchase a record number of different handset models directly from the Cupertino-based tech giant in the US.

In addition to the hot new iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max, the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and XR are still around, but that's likely to change soon with the introduction of the "missing" iPhone 9. Previously known as the iPhone SE 2 in the rumor mill, this is widely expected to borrow heavily from 2017's smaller iPhone 8 variant, which probably means another lineup overhaul is right around the corner.

Interestingly enough, it's unclear if an iPhone 9 Plus is also coming soon, so it remains to be seen if the 4.7-inch iPhone 9 will replace both the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 and 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus or just the former variant. Keep in mind that the iPhone 9 name is not etched in stone yet, while the screen size and general design language are practically confirmed by the latest high-quality factory CAD-based renders published by iGeeksBlog in collaboration with serial leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer, aka Steve H.McFly, aka @OnLeaks.

A familiar design with a modern twist

While there's obviously no such thing as an infallible leaker or rumormonger, all recent signs point to the accuracy of these renders revealing a fairly compact new iPhone with massive screen bezels and a revived fingerprint scanner. We're not talking about a modernized biometric recognition method, mind you, but the same old Touch ID button mounted below the 4.7-inch IPS LCD panel that plenty of people, Donald Trump included, seem to be nostalgic for.

That means there will be no fancy 3D Face ID technology integrated into the no-notch iPhone 9, which is nonetheless tipped to mimic the frosted (aka matte) glass back of the iPhone 11 Pro instead of going with a glossy, shiny rear cover like the iPhone 8. 

Apple is unlikely to change much else about the iPhone 8 on the surface of the fast-approaching iPhone 9, with the two's overall dimensions fitting almost perfectly. You're looking at a 2020 handset expected to measure 138.5mm in height and 67.4mm in width, which is obviously not as compact as the 123.8 x 58.6mm iPhone SE sporting a tiny 4-inch screen. But it's definitely small by "modern" standards.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 9 might bump up the thickness of its 4.7-inch predecessor from 7.3 to 7.8mm, going all the way up to 8.6mm when also taking the camera bump into consideration.

Major camera and processor upgrades in the pipeline

Yes, the iPhone 9 will come with a single rear-facing shooter, but its imaging sensor looks a lot bigger and thicker than the one mounted on the back of the iPhone 8, and we're pretty certain that means the camera performance and versatility will be vastly improved.

The same goes for the raw system speed enabled by Apple's state-of-the-art A13 Bionic SoC, which the iPhone 9 will borrow straight from the iPhone 11 lineup, delivering a massive upgrade from the A11 performance of the iPhone 8. Pretty much all the other specifications remain under wraps, but it's probably safe to assume that profile increase will come with a healthy battery size boost as well.

Price and release date expectations

Apple doesn't always unveil new handsets in the spring, but when that happens, both the formal announcement and commercial rollout go down in March. That's probably what will happen this year, and there's a very good chance the iPhone 9 will see daylight alongside a refreshed iPad Pro duo with a triple rear camera system on deck.

Believe it or not, the iPhone 9 is rumored to cost 50 bucks less than what the iPhone 8 fetches right now. Namely, $399 in an entry-level 64GB storage variant. Curiously enough, the 128 gig configuration could match the same iPhone 8 model at a recommended price of $499. But with an upgraded camera and processor, we're fairly certain Apple would be able to find an audience at a starting price of 450 or even 500 bucks.

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