It could seem unusual for Apple to release an old iPhone handset, but rumours are swirling the iPhone 9 could be coming for a May release.
Respected Apple-watches at credible sources 9to5Mac, MacRumours and Appleinsider are all tipping the handsets upcoming release.
The iPhone 12 models, however, are predictable – the range is expected to become Apple’s flagship smartphone range for this year set to take on Samsung’s S20 line.
Released as a sequel to the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, the iPhone 12 is expected to be released with 5G support, which would bring Apple up to speed with other smartphone makers already supporting the new technology – such as Samsung, Huawei, Motorola and LG.
But the rumours surrounding an iPhone 9 is suggesting the model is bound for a May release. Apple moved from an iPhone 8 to iPhone X and XR to mark the tech giants 10th anniversary.
The California-based tech company never unveiled a 9 model and instead released the iPhone X with a significant price jump that took the devices from expensive to outrageous. The iPhone X debuted for $1,579 with just 64GB of storage at its 2017 launch.
It also marked Apple’s removal of the home button and popular Touch ID fingerprint recognition and introduced gesture control. The iPhone X also controversially ditched the 3.5mm audio jack, forcing consumers to plug in headphones with a lightning cable connector.
Around the same time, Apple released the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus as cheaper models, starting at $1,079 – a much more reasonable price compared to the X range.
But while the iPhone 8 model is now three years old, there’s a new agenda for Apple to be making cheaper iPhone models to win over new customers and keep existing fans – especially as Motorola releases the highly anticipated revamped Razr.
One speculation is that Apple is trying to woo over as many consumers as possible with its latest subscription services – Apple News, Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade games, alongside its already popular Apple Music, iCloud, App store and Apple Card in the US.
Perhaps the iPhone 9 is an act to bring in a younger audience, who will drive up gaming revenue as Apple Arcade users. The company is aware the iPhone 11 is too expensive for younger demographics.
Although Apple still makes a proportionate amount of money from devices, including smartphones – future revenue is now quickly transitioning to services. In the first quarter of this financial year, Apple reported a $83.8 billion (US $55.96 billion) in iPhone sales alone. Services brought in US $10.79 billion – less than iPhone sales, but Apple is still eyeing a huge potential future profit from the services sector.
Reports from the US say that the handset will be called iPhone 9 or iPhone SE 2. The original iPhone SE was launched in 2016 and sports a small four-inch display similar to the iPhone 5 but with an improved processor.
Japanese site Mac Otakara, which has links to the Asian phone supply chain and a notable record of Apple predictions, first tipped Apple to name the upcoming, affordable model to be named the iPhone 9.
MacRumours and 9to5Mac are also amongst others to agree that the updated iPhone 8 model will be powered with Apple’s A13 chip, which was used in last year’s iPhone 11 range.
A fast processor is a major focus of the new model if young people are going to be playing games on the device. The chip would also have support to the latest iOS operating system, meaning it would include the A13.
The consensus also rules the display will be 4.7-inches, which is the same as the iPhone 8 model. Price, a critical issue for younger generations, is being tipped as US $399.
The phone is rumoured to be launched as early as May this year, with iPhone 12 models coming later this year – speculated around September, which is when Apple usually unveils new flagship phones.
Apple has declined to comment on this story.