There’s early excitement for the iPhone 9, so here’s what we already know about the iPhone 9 release date, specs, features, price and more.
Apple’s yearly iPhone release cycle means that fans are always looking for the next big thing. The latest iPhone may still be fairly hot off the production line, but Apple is almost certainly hard at work on a new model.
While there’s very little in the way of definitive leaks thus far, it’s still easy enough to guess at what’ll be coming.
That’s because (1) Apple is a creature of habit, (2) we know what sort of components and technologies will be available for the release, and (3) mobile industry trends are easy enough to spot.
So read on for all the latest news, rumours, leaks and more, and get ready for the iPhone 9 launch.
iPhone 9 Release Date: When is Apple’s next iPhone out?
We all benefit from the fact that Apple has a long and consistent history of iPhone releases. That makes it very easy to predict the next iPhone launch dates.
First off, here’s a rundown of recent iPhone announcements and release dates:
- iPhone 8 – Announced: Tuesday, September 12 | Released: Friday, September 22
- iPhone 7 – Announced: Wednesday, September 7 | Released: Friday, September 16
- iPhone 6S – Announced: Wednesday, September 9 | Released: Friday, September 25
- iPhone 6 – Announced: Tuesday, September 9 | Released: Friday, September 19
- iPhone 5S – Announced: Tuesday, September 10 | Released: Friday, September 20
- iPhone 5 – Announced: Wednesday, September 12 | Released: Friday, September 21
So what does this tell us? Firstly, Apple tends to make its annual iPhone announcement early in September, and always on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
Secondly, Apple typically launches a device for retail on a Friday in mid-September.
Based on that information, we’d guess at the following dates for the iPhone 9 launch:
Estimated iPhone 9 reveal date: Tuesday, September 11 or Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Estimated iPhone 9 release date: Friday, September 21, 2018
Of course, Apple could throw us a curveball and completely switch up its usual schedule, but we’d be very surprised. Logistically, it’s easier for Apple to stick to a roughly exact one-year cycle, as it keeps investors, suppliers, and all other stakeholders largely happy.
New iPhone 2018 Name: What will the next iPhone be called?
As you’re probably aware, there’s no guarantee that the next iPhone will be called iPhone 9. In fact, there’s a good chance it won’t be.
Still, we’re keeping iPhone 9 in the running because it’s the obvious naming successor to the new iPhone 8.
The main problem is that Apple also used 2017 to announce the iPhone X. The issue is that the X stands for the number 10 – it’s a Roman numeral. That means trying to flog an iPhone 9 could be seen by consumers as a step backwards, which is something Apple may be keen to avoid.
Alternatively, the device could be called iPhone 8S. Apple has previously used the ‘S’ suffix to denote incremental updates to existing iPhone models, and that’s something 2018 could certainly offer.
What we think is most likely is Apple simply ditching numbers altogether, like we saw with the iPad 2 – which was simply dubbed ‘the new iPad’. Scrapping numbers and instead denoting new iPhone models by the release year would be an easy way to tidy up iPhone branding, and possibly reduce consumer confusion in the process.
So, here’s a recap of possible new iPhone names:
- iPhone 9
- iPhone 8S
- New iPhone
- iPhone 2018
iPhone 9 Design, Specs and Features: What’s new?
Here are some key rumours we’ve heard, as well as some new features and changes we’d like to see introduced.
Super Retina Display: One of the big changes that the iPhone X introduced was the Super Retina display. This is a 5.8-inch OLED display with a generous 2436 x 1125-pixel display resolution.
We’re very much hoping that we’ll see a trickle-down effect that results in the iPhone 9 getting a similarly impressive display in 2018. For a start, as OLED panels become cheaper for Apple to purchase, they become a much more compelling option for new iPhone models.
It’s also worth remembering that it’s increasingly difficult to improve smartphones, given that most flagships are generally seen as being good enough for the vast majority of users. Upping the display ante would be a simple iterative improvement.
However, a report in September 2017 from the WSJ noted that Apple had expressed an interest in buying a large number of LCD displays from Japan Display – which will make up 70% of the company’s display orders for the next wave of iPhones due in September next year. That could mean OLED may still be reserved for a premium edition iPhone only.
Apple supposedly had plans for three different screen sizes in 2081: 5.28 inches, 5.85 inches, and 6.46 inches. However, the latest rumour is that the 5.3-inch model has been culled from Apple’s roadmap, leaving us with two larger handsets instead.
It’s also possible that we could see the same all-screen front that the iPhone X featured, including the small display notch at the top of the handset that houses sensor and camera components.
Face ID: If Apple does switch to an all-front Super Retina display on the iPhone 9, that means we may also lose out on the Touch ID fingerprint sensor too.
Apple’s solution for the jettisoning of the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone X was to introduce a new 3D facial recognition system for user authentication: Face ID.
Depending on how well Face ID goes down with iPhone X owners, it’s entirely possibly that Apple will also utilise the technology on the iPhone 9 too.
Apple A12 chip: An absolute given is that Apple will debut a brand new, custom-built chip for the iPhone 9.
This chipset is probably going to be called Apple A12, and will likely offer performance and/or battery life improvements.
For reference, the current Apple A11 Bionic chip had two high-performance cores that were 25% faster than the old Apple A10 Fusion. And the four high-efficiency cores are up to 70% faster than the power-sipping cores in the A10.
The easiest way for Apple to improve its chipset is to move to a more efficient manufacturing process. The Apple A11 chip was built on a 10nm process; that’s the distance between transistors – the smaller the distance, the more transistors you can cram in and boost computing power.
Many companies are already working on a 7nm process, including Samsung and TSMC – both of which have supplied Apple with components previously. We’ll update this article with 7nm progress as we hear news on it.
Better battery life: There hasn’t been any rumours regarding iPhone 9 battery life, but we’d be very surprised if it wasn’t a major focus for Apple in 2018.
As I mentioned earlier, we’re arguably at a stage of “peak smartphone”, where we have such high performance and so many features that innovation becomes difficult.
So far, performance innovation has led to a lack of attention being paid to battery life.
But as phone users become increasingly concerned with how often they have to charge their phone – and as phone makers struggle to offer compelling yearly upgrades – you can bet battery life will get some long-overdue attention.
This could come from a switch to a more efficient 7nm chip next year, which would be an easy way of saving power. We can only hope that Apple strives to improve battery life over computing heft in 2018.
After all, who wouldn’t want a phone that lasted three or more days per charge?
Long-range wireless charging: Back in 2016, it was revealed that Apple had patented a system for charging mobile devices – like your iPhone – wirelessly.
That’s already a feature of the new iPhone X (read: Apple AirPower), but this patent was different: it was long-range wireless charging.
The idea is that, by using frequencies normally designated for data comms, Apple could transfer power to your phone over the air.
Imagine: you put a charging node in your house, which looks a bit like a router. Then, as you sit in your living room, your phone charges automatically without ever being plugged in.
You could put these chargers in your office, at the local Starbucks, or even in your car, making it possible to keep your handset sufficiently charged all day long. This would even reduce pressure on companies to improve battery life, because charging would be so easy and accessible.
Of course, this is just a patent, so there’s no guarantee that Apple will ever roll out such a technology. Sorry, folks.
iPhone 9 Price: How much will the new iPhone 9 cost?
We don’t know the exact iPhone 9 price, but you can be sure it’ll cost a hefty fee.
The iPhone 8 saw the base cost of an iPhone rise to an eye-watering £699, which is even loftier than the £689 Samsung Galaxy S8 – and far beyond the £449 OnePlus 5.
Given the dodgy state of the UK currency, it’s highly likely that the iPhone 9 will be at least as expensive as the iPhone 8. If we were to place a bet, we’d say £699 is still the likeliest price tag, but expect something between £679 and £749.
Alternatively, if the iPhone 9 does turn out to be an iPhone X sequel, we could be looking at something far closer to a price tag of between £899 and £1,099.