The new iPhone 9 will launch in 2020, finally bringing a new cheap iPhone that many have been waiting for since the iPhone SE was first introduced in 2016. The new phone may even be named iPhone SE 2, we don’t know for sure.
However, where Apple’s previous budget model was designed for those who love a smaller phone, the new iPhone 9 (or perhaps the iPhone SE 2020) appears to be larger, mimicking the design first used on the iPhone 6. There can even be an iPhone 9 Plus or iPhone SE Plus.
While the cheapest iPhone 9 is likely to be popular in most countries, Apple is likely to also take it out to serve more emerging markets, where cheaper phones sell better. These territories may have been able to buy the older iPhone 8, but offering them a ‘new’ budget iPhone will have significant marketing power.
Originally, Apple’s new lower-cost phone was expected to launch in March, but it wasn’t introduced alongside the iPad Pro 2020 or the New MacBook Air.
We’re still waiting for more information on the iPhone 9, but we’ve heard that rumors are starting to pop up more frequently, so it seems pretty likely that we’ll see the budget launch of the iPhone in the next month or two (Provided that manufacturing in China goes back to normal).
iPhone 9 / iPhone SE (2020) release date
Ône of the most troublesome things about the iPhone 9 launch is that it is very hard to predict due to coronavirus epidemic. The latest rumor suggests that the launch date will be April 22, preceded by a launch event on April 15.
With that said, a source told that the iPhone SE (not the iPhone 9) will launch as soon as April 3. The source did not confirm the date (and April 3 has past now) but said that the orders would be available from Apple very soon.
With the recent coronavirus outbreak, smartphone production has slowed worldwide and the factories in China that are generally used to create the iPhone have been partially closed. This keeps the iPhone 9 release date in the air.
Tim Cook recently said that factories had started to return to full production, to offset investor concern that the new phone would not launch as fast as previously thought.
The iPhone 9 has also been reported to have entered its “final engineering validation stage,” suggesting that it is almost here, as is a more recent claim that the iPhone 9 has now entered mass production.
But all of that hasn’t stopped Apple from needing to release a press release confirming that revenue would not be as high as previously thought, thanks to the outbreak, stating: “Global iPhone supply will be temporarily limited.”
How much will iPhone 9 / iPhone SE (2020) will cost?
Maybe around $399 / £379 / AU $679.
The price of the iPhone SE started at these prices, and we would expect a similar amount for the iPhone 9.
According to the Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the price of the iPhone 9 will be the same.
That means starting from $ 399 (probably £ 399, AU $ 600 under Apple’s pricing conventions), according to TF Securities’ findings, and Kuo later reiterated.
However, in 2016 the cost of high-end phones was about half of what it is today: the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra launched for a maximum of $1,400, so seeing a smartphone featured for little less at $400 it seems pretty novel.
It remains to be seen if that’s the price – the design and spec list are a little better than the iPhone 8, and that still sells for $449.
iPhone 9 or iPhone SE (2020)?
There is currently a lot of confusion about the naming of Apple’s next budget phone, but now it seems likely that it will be called iPhone SE.
The Apple website listed a case for a phone called the iPhone SE. The device is configured to have a 4.7-inch screen, which is what we hope the iPhone 9 will have.
Some other case creators came early and tried to predict that it will be called iPhone SE 2, and generally they are priced well too. That’s the best evidence we have that the phone is called iPhone SE.
In addition to that, we think you’ll find plenty of places calling it iPhone SE 2020 to avoid confusion with the original 2016 device.
While the name of the iPhone SE is not yet certain, it now seems more likely than the iPhone 9. The iPhone 9 sounds like a real step down from the iPhone 11, currently one of the world’s best-selling phones.
While understandable, iPhone 9 will be much cheaper, unconsciously sending a message that this phone is ‘minor’, so Apple has generally come up with something more random (like SE, 5C, or XR) to help disguise the fact .
iPhone 9 / iPhone SE (2020) design and screen
As previously mentioned, the design of the iPhone 9 appears to be almost identical to that of the iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, and iPhone 6. Why change a winning formula?
Well, actually, Apple did just that when it moved to the ‘full-screen’ phones with the iPhone X and the following models, but it hasn’t stopped them from making the iPhone 8.
Some details come from Kuo once again, and has since been seen in the renders from @Onleaks, as you can see below.
The new budget iPhone has been ‘seen’ in various forms in the past two years, from a hybrid of the original SE (with angular metal sides) and the iPhone 6-8 range (with a more rounded glass front).
iOS 14 code that give some hints about the design that can be expected. The smaller phone is expected to have a 4.7-inch screen along with a Touch ID button.
That probably means you won’t be able to use Face ID on this phone. At least that means there is no notch, right? The iPhone 9 Plus is expected to have a similar design, but slightly larger than this phone, but we currently don’t know how big it will be (if it happens).
iPhone 9 / iPhone SE (2020) specifications
A variety of sources, including Ming-Chi Kuo, and also reported elsewhere, have suggested that the list of specs will look like the following:
3GB RAM, A13 chipset (same as used in current iPhone 11) 4.7-inch LCD screen, hom button with Touch ID, single camera (resolution still unknown), 32-64GB storage and no headphone jack.
Let’s take a look at those specs a bit and see if we can’t figure out where the cost savings might come from.
The first is RAM, which is 25% lower than iPhone 11, and that’s low in modern times, which means some apps might not work as well.
If there were only 32 GB of storage, that would suggest that the iPhone 9 was a true budget phone and would only interest those who don’t particularly care about having a high-powered phone…
However, most rumors say that the iPhone 9 has 64GB built-in storage, which would be more than enough for most, but it doesn’t translate any cost savings for Apple.
The 4.7-inch LCD screen will not be high-resolution, with the same 750×1334 resolution seen on the iPhone 8, which will be a cheaper component. It will be more than decent, but it will not have the sharpness like the iPhone 11 or the beauty of the OLED screen of the iPhone 11 Pro.
There have been plenty of rumors about the iPhone 9 having Face ID facial recognition or a built-in fingerprint sensor on the power button, but more rumors (and our educated guess) would say the home button / sensor combo fingerprint will remain.
And sadly, there is almost certainly no headphone jack on the iPhone 9, simply because Apple is too far from saying it is not necessary on a smartphone to go back now.
So let’s say goodbye to that port if you’re a fan of the iPhone and save for some cheaper AirPods Pro Lite.