Apple's cheaper iPhone may be called iPhone 9 or iPhone 8S
iPhone 9 release date, price, news and leaks
Apple is poised to launch a cheaper iPhone 9 in 2018, and whether or not it goes by that specific name, we expect a new all-screen iPhone closer to the iPhone 8 in price than the iPhone X.
Of course, we do expect a new flagship phone too in the form of the iPhone 11(or iPhone XI) with a September launch window, but anyone holding out for a more affordable device from Apple should look no further than the iPhone 9.
Update: According to sources in Germany, iPhone 9 pre-orders will start on September 14 - which falls in nicely with a possible September 12 launch.
We don't have any solid information at this point, but iPhone 9 rumors and leaks are pointing to a larger screen and a mix of a iPhone 8 and iPhone X features.
Of course, Apple may opt to keep with its current incremental naming system for this handset, and instead of calling it the iPhone 9 it may be called the iPhone 8S instead.
If Apple does go for iPhone 8S, it would suggest the handset will only have minor upgrades over the iPhone 8.
You'll find everything we know so far about the iPhone 9 (or the iPhone 8S if that's what Apple opts for) below, and we're constantly updating this page with the very latest on the new iPhone.
There are another two iPhones rumored: iPhone11 | iPhone 9 Plus/11 Plus
What is it? A cheaper upgrade we're dubbing 'iPhone 9'
When is it out? Probably a September 12 2018 launch
What will it cost? Still lots, but less than the iPhone XI
The iPhone 9 launch will almost certainly happen in September 2018, given Apple's typical release date schedule, and given that a September launch has been rumored.
While Apple is yet to send out invites to its annual special event, we're willing to go as far as to say the exact date we expect the new iPhones to grace us with our presence.
Apple generally holds its annual iPhone event in the second week of the ninth month, which means - going on previous Apple launches - the iPhone 9 release date is likely to be a week or two after the launch.
A September 12 launch also falls nicely with a rumor from German site Macerkopf, which claims that its carrier sources say the iPhone 9 pre-orders will start on September 14.
That falls in line with previous iPhone launches, with people rushing to pre-order the new handset the Friday after the launch event.
iPhone 9 price
When the iPhone 9 does arrive it's sure to be expensive - this is an 'affordable' iPhone, not a budget iPhone - though the final price tag may be less than you might expect.
The main price rumor we've heard comes from renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who claims the iPhone 9 could cost $600-$700 (around £450-£530, AU$810-AU$950), which would potentially make it cheaper than the iPhone 8.
That's also lower than an earlier price rumor of $700-$800 (around £500-£570, AU$870-AU$990) from the same source.
Whatever the case, it should be priced far below the iPhone X, and likely well below the iPhone XI - if such a phone launches.
The cost might further be kept down slightly if Apple decides not to bundle a 3.5mm headphone adaptor with it, as one analyst reckons might happen. But that just means you'll have to buy one separately if you have normal wired headphones.
Apple may also be looking to make its iPhone range more accessible, and with no sign of the iPhone SE 2 any time soon, it may fall to the new iPhone to provide a more attractive entry point to the Cupertino based firm's smartphone line.
iPhone 9, iPhone 8S or something else?
What's more certain is that Apple will probably go back to the drawing board when it comes to naming.
While iPhone 9 is the next logical step for Apple's stock handset, there's a chance we'll see it drop the numerical part of the name and go for a cleaner 'new iPhone' moniker.
We've already seen it do this with the iPad, and its Mac and Macbook lines are also devoid of numbers, so aligning the iPhone range with the rest of its portfolio makes sense.
There are also rumors that Apple may use the 'S' addition for the iPhone XI and iPhone X Plus (e.g. iPhone XS and XS Plus) - so keep an eye out for a potential iPhone 8S as well.
iPhone 9 news and leaks
The iPhone 9 is expected to be a sequel to the iPhone 8 - and perhaps called the iPhone 8S if it features only incremental upgrades over its predecessor.
Early iPhone 9 rumors suggest it will, and one of the leaks includes a render video, showing how the phone might look.
As you can see in the video below, it looks a lot like the iPhone X, but with a single-lens camera. The source adds that it has a 6.1-inch OLED screen.
Analyst Ming Chi Kuo also reckons Apple will launch a 6.1-inch handset with lesser specs than other 2018 iPhone models.
This phone will supposedly have an aluminum (rather than stainless steel) frame and according to Kuo will have an LCD (rather than OLED) screen, but could have just a 0.5mm bezel.
It's also said to have a single-lens camera and innards that are more reminiscent of the iPhone 8 than the iPhone X, as the chart below details.
Kuo also notes that the resolution of the 6.1-inch model (which we'll call the iPhone 9) could be lower, at 320-330 pixels per inch (ppi), while the iPhone XI could have a screen of 458ppi or more, and that it could have 3GB of RAM while the other upcoming models might have 4GB.
Most surprisingly, he says that it may not have 3D Touch, a feature every iPhone since the iPhone SE has had. The last piece of information we've had from Kuo refers to the color choices for the iPhone 9.
He believes the 6.1-inch iPhone will come in normal Apple colors like white, grey and red as well as bolder looks of blue and orange. Kuo also believes the larger and more expensive iPhone XI will come in white, black and gold.
For the iPhone 9 we've also seen schematics that possibly show the phone, which you can see below. Alongside them dimensions of 147.12 x 71.52mm were revealed.
While the design looks to be broadly similar to that of the iPhone XI, it looks like the iPhone 9 might have thicker screen surrounds, as reputable leaker Ice universe has shared an image of tempered film for the three upcoming phones, showing that the mid-size one (the cheaper model that we're calling the iPhone 9) has exactly that.
The tempered film of the three iPhone 2018, we found that the 6.1-inch iPhone uses an LCD screen, its border is wider, and the 5.8 and 6.5-inch iPhone is an OLED screen with a narrower border. pic.twitter.com/7MtzH7KrDT— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) July 17, 2018
This isn't the only talk of a 6.1-inch iPhone 9 either. Prior to all this we'd heard rumors of a 6.1-inch LCD phone elsewhere, with the source - who's supposedly privy to Apple's product designs - adding that it might have a metal back.
That would be an odd move when Apple switched to glass for all of 2017's models, a switch which also allowed for wireless charging, so if the iPhone 9 really does have a metal back you might not be able to charge it wirelessly.
Further image leaks claim to show the 6.1-inch iPhone 9 in real life, and they appear to follow the render leaks we've previous seen, with a single, large rear camera and a LED flash below it.
However, while most rumors point to a 6.1-inch screen, one of the most recent rumors is that it will actually be 6.0 inches, and that it will have a single-lens rear camera and a TrueDepth front-facing one.
That's something we've heard before, as unnamed supply chain sources have supposedly said that a lower price handset will include Face ID, though they also said it might have an OLED screen, which recent rumors dispute.
Further confusing matters, while most sources reckon that Apple will launch three new iPhones in 2018 and that two of them will be OLED-packed iPhone X successors, one source claims that two (a 5.7 to 5.8-inch one and a 6.0 to 6.1-inch one) will be LCD, while only one will be OLED.
We've also heard reports that Apple might include a fast charger in the box with the iPhone 9 and any other 2018 iPhone models, letting you juice it up quickly, though given that this is likely to be a cheaper handset than the iPhone XI the company might reserve this for its flagship.
In more minor news we've also heard that the iPhone 9 might use an intel modem. With current iPhone models there's a split between Intel and Qualcomm ones, but Apple is rumored to be relying purely on Intel in 2018.
And an Apple patent suggests that the company is working on a single-lens camera that can sense depth like a dual-lens one, making it ideal for Portrait Mode. We wouldn't expect to see this on the iPhone 9, but it's possible, and could give it iPhone X-like camera skills with one less lens and likely at a lower cost.
What we'd like to see
Before we knew any rumors about the iPhone 9, we put together the list below on what we'd like to see from the new handset.
What once was a hardware staple for the iPhone is well on its way out. If you buy an iPhone X, you'll get a glimpse into Apple's home button-less future, which is now, well, its present.
After some adjustment time, most will forget about the trusty button's absence in the iPhone X, but it'd be a nice send-off if Apple kept the home button for one last appearance in the iPhone 9.
As well as losing the home button, the iPhone X also lost Touch ID - something we weren't all that happy about.
While Face ID works well, there are still occasions where a fingerprint scanner would be more useful. We don't mind if Apple pops it on the rear, but what we'd really love to see if its embedded in the display itself. Yum.
Apple is ahead of most smartphone manufacturers in that it includes a set of earbuds in each and every box. But once the headphone jack disappeared in the iPhone 7, you could either listen to music with the Lightning-connected EarPods or charge the phone, but not both.
While it's unlikely, it'd be a dream come true if the iPhone 9 came with AirPods included in the box. Apple's easy-to-lose but beloved wireless headphones would be a huge selling point for the next iPhone.
This way, you can enjoy some tunes wirelessly while your phone is charging.
Apple's investment in wireless charging is young, though it's essential enough that we'd be pleased to see it show up in the iPhone 9.
Moving from the iPhone 7 to the 8, enabling the wire-free charging feature required Apple to make the phone's back all-glass, as to allow the charging signal pass through the device.
Keeping this feature hints that the iPhone 9 might not look all that different from what's available today, and will likely be just as easy to break.
Apple reportedly lacked the resources to put AMOLED displays in any phone except its new iPhone X. Give the supply chain about six to eight months to calibrate and Apple should see about using the impressive display tech in the iPhone 9.
It’s a bit baffling for the company to dodge including a AMOLED display in the iPhone 8, only to reserve it for the high-end iPhone X.
We'd like to see the richer colors and deep blacks that only this type of screen can provide to come to the next iPhone, namely the iPhone 9.
Dual rear-facing cameras
The iPhone 9 will feature a set of dual rear-facing cameras – that much is almost certain. However, as it has done in the past few years, Apple will only include it in the plus-sized model, the iPhone 9 Plus.
It'd be an awesome move for the company to give this feature to those who don't want to shell out plus-sized dollars, but still want all of the bells and whistles associated with Apple’s nifty feature.
Adjusting portrait lighting and shooting photos with depth is great to have on your phone as a DSLR replacement. And as Apple continues to pour its efforts into these competitive features, it’d be wise to homogenize the results from its broad range of devices moving forward.