iPhone 9: All you need to know about the next iPhone (2018)

We’re getting very close now to when the 2018 iPhone (likely to be called the iPhone 9) is expected to be announced. If you’re wondering what Apple might have in store for this year’s handsets, then read on for everything the rumour mill has to say about its specs, features, and price. 

Apple is a famously secretive company, but no company can entirely prevent details of its products leaking ahead of time, especially not when people are as interested in it as people are in upcoming iPhones.

However, with none of these details yet to be confirmed, there’s every chance Apple might pull a complete surprise out of the bag. We’ll just have to wait and see for what it has in store.

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iPhone 9 Name: What will the next iPhone be called?

There’s no guarantee the next iPhone will be called the iPhone 9. In fact, there’s a good chance it won’t be. Why, you ask? Because, with the iPhone X – iPhone 10 – on the market, the iPhone 9 could be seen by consumers as a step backwards, which is something Apple may (understandably) be keen to avoid.

Related: Best iPhone

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iPhone 8 Plus

Some tipsters claim the next iPhone will be called the iPhone 8s. It’s a prediction that makes a lot of sense – Apple has previously used the ’s’ suffix to denote incremental updates to existing iPhone models (think: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s), and that’s something 2018 could certainly offer.

There’s also a chance that Apple might ditch the numbers altogether – like we saw with the iPad 3, which was dubbed ‘the new iPad’ when it hit the shelves back in 2012. The same naming scheme was adopted for the 9.7-inch iPad 2018 that was released in April.

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Here’s a recap of all the possible names for the next-gen iPhone:

  • iPhone 9
  • iPhone 8S
  • iPhone XS
  • New iPhone
  • New iPhone X
  • iPhone 2018

With a couple of different iPhone models rumoured, there’s every chance Apple might adopt two or even three of these different names.

iPhone 9 Release Date: When will it come out?

Apple has a long and consistent history of iPhone releases, which makes predicting the launch date for a new iPhone a straightforward task. With that in mind, we expect Apple to announce the iPhone 9 on September 11 or September 12, with it hitting the shelves worldwide on September 21.

Here’s how we worked that out:

  • iPhone 5 – Announced: Wednesday, September 12 | Released: Friday, September 21
  • iPhone 5s – Announced: Tuesday, September 10 | Released: Friday, September 20
  • iPhone 6 – Announced: Tuesday, September 9 | Released: Friday, September 19
  • iPhone 6s – Announced: Wednesday, September 9 | Released: Friday, September 25
  • iPhone 7 – Announced: Wednesday, September 7 | Released: Friday, September 16
  • iPhone 8 – Announced: Tuesday, September 12 | Released: Friday, September 22

So what does that tell us? Firstly, Apple tends to make its annual iPhone announcement in early-September, and always on a Tuesday or Wednesday. And secondly, Apple usually launches a device for retail on a Friday in mid-September, leaving a narrow window for the unveiling.

That’s why we estimate the following dates:

  • Reveal: Tuesday, September 11 or Wednesday, September 12
  • Release: Friday, September 21

There is, of course, a chance that Apple could throw us a curveball and completely switch up its schedule, but the firm recently registered a fleet of new iPhones – A1920, A1921, A1984, A2097, A2098, A2099, A2101, A2103, A2104, A2105, and A2106 – running iOS 12, hinting that the release is right around the corner.

iPhone 9 Price: How much will the new iPhone cost?

We don’t know the exact price of the iPhone 9, but you can bet your bottom dollar it will set you back a pretty penny. After all, the iPhone 8 saw the base cost of an iPhone rise to an eye-watering £699, which is loftier than the £599 Huawei P20 – and far beyond the £449 OnePlus 6.

Given the temperamental state of the Great British Pound (GBP), it’s highly likely that the iPhone 9 will be at least as expensive as the iPhone 8 – in the United Kingdom, at least. If we were to place a bet, we’d say £699 is still the likeliest price tag, but expect something between £679 and £749.

Reliable leaker Ming-Chi Kuo is more optimistic, however, and has suggested that the new phones could come out at a price between $600 and $700, or between approximately £456 and £532.

Alternatively, if the iPhone 9 does turn out to be an iPhone X sequel, as some far-fetched rumours would have you believe, we could be looking at something far closer to a price tag of between £899 and £1099. Some have even predicted that it could rise as high as £1150 for the base model.

iPhone 9 Design and Specs: What does it look like, and is it powerful?

There’s no clear-cut answer to those questions. Much of what we’ve heard to date came in the form of dubious rumours, with little, if any, evidence to back them up. With that in mind, we’d recommend taking all the following information with a considerable pinch of your preferred seasoning.

Three different models

The most consistent rumour we’re hearing about Apple’s 2018 iPhone plans is that it will feature three handsets in total. Two of them will sport OLED screens (one 5.8-inch and one 6.5-inch), while a cheaper model 6.1-inch model will be equipped with an LCD screen.

Most interesting is the fact that all three look set to be equipped with an iPhone X-style edge-to-edge display complete with display notch.

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iPhone X

Yes, there was a report from Korea’s ET News that claimed that Apple is working around the clock to bake the 3D-sensing hardware required for Face ID (more on that later) into the front-facing camera on the next-gen iPhone, in a bid to eliminate the dreaded cut-out at the top of the screen, but all the rumours since have pointed towards the notch being present and accounted for.

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Face ID

If Apple decides to switch to an all-front, near-edge-to-edge OLED on the iPhone 9, it’s more than likely it will also do away with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, replacing it with its Face ID face-recognition feature that made its first, and only to date, appearance on the top-of-the-line iPhone X.

Apple A12

It’s looking ever more likely that Apple will bundle a brand new, custom-built chip on the iPhone 9. Based on the firm’s current naming convention, it will be called the Apple A12 (the last one was the Apple A11 Bionic), and will likely off a number of battery and performance improvements.

For reference, the current A11 Bionic has two high-performance cores that are 25 percent faster than those of the two-year-old A10 Fusion and four high-efficiency cores, which are around 70 percent snappier than those found on the A10 Fusion, according to Geekbench benchmark results.

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iPhone 8 (right) and iPhone 8 Plus (left)

The easiest way for Apple to improve its chipset is to migrate to a more efficient manufacturing process. The A11 Bionic is built on a standard 10nm process; that’s the distance between transistors – the smaller the distance, the more transistors you can cram in to boost computing power.

A number of companies, including Samsung and TSMC – both of which have supplied Apple with components in the past – are working on a 7nm process that cuts the distance between transistors, so there’s a chance we could see the tech make an appearance on the much-anticipated iPhone 9.

It all sounds like it might lead to a nice boost in performance. The only issue is that TSMC, one of the expected manufacturers of the new chip, recently suffered a large computer virus outbreak, which could potentially push back its manufacturing plans according to a report by CNBC.

However don’t get worried just yet since analysts at KGI have suggested that most manufacturers prepare for events such as this by producing surplus chipsets, which should mitigate any delays.

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USB-C

Apple will bundle an 18-watt USB-C fast charger in the box of the iPhone 9, according to Forbes’ Gordon Kelly, in a move that could save iPhone owners as much as $70. That’s because up until now the firm has commanded $49 for its aftermarket 29-watt fast charger, then a further $19 for the necessary USB-C to Lightning cable.

The iPhone 9 will come with all the required cables.

That tidbit was corroborated by Japanese blog Mac Otakara on July 17, with the outlet noting that Apple has assembled and commissioned a network of minor suppliers, including Artesyn, Delta Electronics, Flextronics and Lite-On Technology, to manufacture the USB-C fast charger that will come bundled with the iPhone 9.

Mac Otakara then went on to reveal that all of the suppliers are working at full capacity, so it’s unlikely the USB-C fast charger will show up as an accessory that existing iPhone owners can purchase until the start of 2019 – though it could well be longer if demand for the iPhone 9 is through the roof, as some analysts believe will be the case.

The European Commission has recently indicated that it would like to take measures to ensure harmonization with smart phone chargers (which sounds a lot like forcing Apple to switch from lightning to USB C), any ruling will likely be years in the making, and won’t be ready for the 2018 handsets.

Camera

Recently a leaked image (via SlashLeaks) showed off what was claimed to be an iPhone 9 sporting a much larger lens on its rear, which could mean a wider aperture.

Disappointingly this image seems to suggest the phone will be equipped with just a single lens rather than the dual lens seen on recent handsets, but this could still be a feature reserved for more premium releases this year.

AirPods

Some rumour-spinners believe that the iPhone 9 will come with a set of Apple’s wireless AirPods earphones in the box (RRP £159), instead of a standard set of wired EarPods (RRP £29). To be clear, though: that’s far from confirmed, with the few people who claim it’s the case having no evidence to support their claim.

apple airpods

AirPods

If that turns out to be the case, we can almost guarantee that the price of the handset will increase to at least cover the cost of the AirPods, which are said to cost around £40 to manufacture. Apple would, of course, be looking to make a subtle profit to give the impression that they’re free – so we think a £50 to £60 hike is likely.

Related: Apple Watch Series 3

Dual SIM

It’s looking increasingly likely that this year’s iPhone will be the first to allow you to insert two SIM cards at a time…but only in a model released in China.

This rumour comes courtesy of code discovered in the recent iOS 12 beta which makes reference to a “secondSIM”

Having this ability is very popular in the developing world, but although it would be useful in the west as well Economic Daily News reports that it will be a feature that’s exclusive to China.

The code snippets suggest that the feature is definitely coming, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it came to a few more countries.

What feature are you hoping to see on the iPhone 9? Let us know over on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews.

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