iPhone 9: Price, release date, and the biggest leaks so far
Update: The new iPhone that had been rumoured to be called the iPhone 9 has instead launched as the iPhone SE 2. Below are some of the biggest iPhone 9-related rumours we saw prior to the iPhone SE 2 launch…
The iPhone 11 range was revealed to much acclaim back in September, and so typically we wouldn’t expect a new flagship iPhone to be forthcoming until a year later. However, rumours are circling of a mid-range model that’s set to be launched in the first half of 2020. This handset is reckoned to be a desperately needed affordable entry point into Apple’s notoriously pricey product line-up − and in this article, we’ve gathered together all the information we know about it so far. Presenting the iPhone 9 (which may instead be called the iPhone SE 2)…
iPhone 9 release date
Our current best estimate for the release date is April 15, according to Jon Prosser, who claims to have access to internal sources. He expects the device to be available to buy one week later, on April 22.
The earliest rumours have suggested that the iPhone 9 would launch on March 31. However, the scheduled Apple March Event for that day was eventually cancelled thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, with Cult of Mac reporting that the iPhone 9 has since been “delayed indefinitely” due to production issues; Jon Prosser contradicted this in the below tweet.
This device wasn’t the only one that’s speculated to have been affected by the postponed event; we were also anticipating the unveiling of a new iPad Pro (since announced on the quiet), AirTags, and the iOS 13.4 software update.
Related: Best iPhone
iPhone 9 price
The iPhone 11 was the lowest priced model of the most recent range, coming in at £729 ($699). We expect that iPhone 9 will undercut this to immediately take its place as the cheapest choice of new iPhone (though for UK consumers it may well also suffer from an uneven currency conversion that sees us paying over the odds).
In October 2019, a report from TF Securities claimed that the price would be $399 (~£320). While we strongly hope that this initial prediction does indeed prove to be correct, you’d be canny to remain sceptical about such a low price for a brand-new Apple product, especially considering that even today a new iPhone 8 officially retails for $449 (£479).
iPhone 9 design and display
According to Nikkei, the iPhone 9’s design is going to look exceedingly familiar. That’s because it’s said to be keeping the same casing as the iPhone 8 (released back in September 2017 and pictured below), but it will at least be fitted with a new camera and bang up-to-date internal specs.
The distinctive design of the iPhone 8 features relatively thick bezels at the top and bottom of the phone, plus a home button with integrated Touch ID for speed of unlocking. Even at the time, it already looked a little old-fashioned being launched next to the iPhone X, which introduced minimal bezels along with the widely-imitated screen notch that set the standard for smartphones for the next couple of years. But as long as the iPhone 9 delivers an excellent performance, then it’s still a surefire bet to win over the hearts of Apple fans.
The screen measures just 4.7-inches, making it remarkably small by the standards of today – but in a world dominated by large-screen phones, this might come as an advantage to the consumer who prefers a more manageable device.
Additionally, 9to5 Mac believes that a 5.5-inch iPhone 9 Plus will also be available; presumably, this will take the form of an updated iPhone 8 Plus, to cater to consumers who do desire a larger screen.
iPhone 9 colours
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that the iPhone 9 is set to be available in only three shades: red, silver and space grey.
That would be a tad disappointing when compared with the six vibrant shades offered by the iPhone 11, and we’d feel underwhelmed if this does prove to be true. The iPhone 9 will surely be relatively cheap, but a range of bright colours could help to make it cheerful too.
iPhone 9 camera
A candid picture, allegedly of the device, has emerged on SlashLeaks to reveal the phone’s shiny rear panel and its new-look camera.
There’s not much to go on here, unfortunately, but the blurry snap suggests that the camera sensor might be larger than the one on the original iPhone 8, and correspondingly could boast a higher resolution.
Although Android phones at a similar price point often boast two or three cameras, it can’t be too much of a surprise that the iPhone 9 is set to have just one – especially when you consider that it was only last year that Apple released the top-selling iPhone XR with a single snapper (which nonetheless greatly impressed us).
iPhone 9 specs and features
Although the design is set to be a throwback as opposed to the first step into a new era, the iPhone 9’s internals are expected to brought right up to date with the 2019 range of iPhones.
For starters, it’s expected to house the same A13 Bionic chip that’s present in all the new iPhones up to the top-spec iPhone 11 Pro Max – and according to our tests that’s one of the best pieces of silicon on the market, so you certainly won’t lack processing power. On top of that, we expect the usual incremental specs improvements since the iPhone 8 came out in 2017, including a possible RAM upgrade to 3GB or 4GB rather than a measly 2GB.
A report from 9t05 Mac, which deftly picks through the code of the upcoming iOS 14 mobile operating system, has confirmed a couple of features for the handset. Firstly it confirmed the existence of Touch ID, as had been previously suspected given the similarity to the iPhone 8. Secondly, it revealed that the device would support Express Transit (the payment system allowing you to pay for public transport via your smartphone). This tech has been present on the iPhone 6s and onwards, so it’s been speculated that the iPhone 9 will be particularly marketed towards iPhone 6 users in need of an upgrade.