We’re almost halfway through the year, and that means we’re now perilously close to seeing a new iPhone, which this year is expected to be called the iPhone 9. Here’s everything we know about the iPhone 9, including the latest rumours, leaks and news, and we’ve even taken a shot at predicting its release date.
While there’s little information floating around pertaining to what exactly Apple is working on for the iPhone 9, it’s easy enough to discern what’s coming and that’s because: 1) Apple is a creature of habit; 2) mobile trends tend are a doddle to spot; 3) we know what tech will be available at the time of release, thanks to patents.
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.
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.
It’s more likely, however, that Apple will simply 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.
Here’s a recap of all the possible names for the next-gen iPhone:
- iPhone 9
- iPhone 8S
- New iPhone
- New iPhone X
- iPhone 2018
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.
Super Retina Display
When Apple announced the iPhone X, it said that the near-edge-to-edge OLED screen that debuted on the handset will set the standard for future iPhones, so it should come as no surprise to hear that there’s chatter claiming that the next iPhone will feature a near-edge-to-edge OLED.
However, a Wall Street Journal report from September 2017 threw lukewarm water on the rumour, claiming that Apple had expressed a keen interest in purchasing a large number of LCDs from Japan Display – expected to make up 70 percent of the firm’s total screen orders for the next wave of iPhones.
Current estimates point towards Apple’s 2018 lineup consisting of a mixture of LCD and OLED displays, with the latter being saved for the more premium handsets.
Apple supposedly had plans to release three different iPhones in 2018: one with a 5.28-inch, one with a 5.85-inch and one with a 6.46-inch screen. Although word on the street is that the Cupertino company culled the former from its roadmap, instead opting to stick to what it knows works.
Korea’s ET News professes 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, which debuted on the iPhone X.
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.
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.
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.
Related: Best Smartphone
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.
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.
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.
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.
The iPhone 9 will come with an eSIM like the one on the Apple Watch Series 3 Cellular, reports American outlet Barron’s. Apple is said to have commissioned STMicroelectronics, the firm behind the eSIM on the Apple Watch, to produce something similar for the iPhone 9 and the rest of the firm’s 2018 iPhone range.
Related: Apple Watch Series 3
An eSIM is an electronic SIM card. It replaces the physical, plastic SIM card all current smartphones use with a virtual embedded equivalent that cannot be removed, letting customers flick between cellular operators whenever they see fit without having to have the handset unlocked.
iPhone 9 Release Date and Price: When does it come out, and how much will it cost?
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.
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 now-discontinued £449 OnePlus 5T.
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.
What feature are you hoping to see on the iPhone 9? Let us know over on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews.