Apple iPhone 9 price, release date, and leaked specs preview
The iPhone numbering scheme weirdness continues in 2020 with the likely introduction of the iPhone SE2… which will actually launch under the name “iPhone 9,” but is otherwise rumored to channel the defining features of the iPhone SE. That is, its ultra-compact size and affordable price that took us by surprise in 2016.
iPhone 9 = iPhone SE2
Although numerous sources have independently corroborated that a smaller, cheaper iPhone is in the works, there has been much debate surrounding its name. All signs point to a spiritual successor of the iPhone SE, so early rumors suggested that the phone may be aptly called the SE2, but that may not be the case.
A recent report by Japanese outlet Mac Otakara, citing an “informed source," claims that Apple will be naming the upcoming phone the iPhone 9, instead of the SE2. This actually makes sense when you think about it, as the SE brand isn’t really established. It’s something that some people remember fondly, but the vast majority of Apple users are accustomed to iPhone models with a number at the end. And they’ve been keeping count—Apple skipped the nine!
The iPhone 9 design and display
It’s weird how, not that long ago, Apple’s stance was that 3.5-inch displays were the perfect size for most consumers. Well, maybe it’s been eons (in tech years), but it’s still funny how the current compact iPhone models—thanks to bezel-less design and taller aspect ratios—have 6-inch displays.
Well, the iPhone 9 is throwing all of this out the door! Current information suggests that the iPhone 9 will retain the general design of the iPhone 8, including the big bezels, the physical home button, and the modest 4.7-inch display. This also means that the iPhone 9 will be almost the same size as the iPhone 8.
Some people have been dreaming of a device the size of the original iPhone SE, but with the bezel-less design and all the other bells and whistles that define Apple’s flagship iPhone lineup. Well, this isn’t it. All signs point to the iPhone 9 being aimed at people who are looking to upgrade from very old models, like the iPhone 6 and 6s.
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.
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.
Apple iPhone 9 specs and camera
Here’s some great news! The iPhone 9 is said to feature this year’s A13 Bionic chip—the same one that powers the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro—meaning that it will perform extremely well, and will continue to do so for years.
Aside from the new and very powerful processor, the iPhone 9 will also likely get a RAM boost from 1GB to 3GB. This may not sound like much, but considering that the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max are doing just fine with 4GB of RAM, this shouldn’t be a concern.
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.
Apple iPhone 9 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 is fetching. 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. Any takers?