Code snippets in iOS 14 appear to show that Apple is working on an iPhone 9 Plus to complement the budget model iPhone 9 rumoured to be in development, 9to5Mac reported on Monday.
According to 9to5Mac, “evidence indicates” that both the larger and smaller version of the iPhone 9 (the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus came in at 4.7 and 5.7 inches, respectively) will still use the A13 Bionic chip used in the iPhone 11 line. The site also wrote that the phone will feature a solid-state home button running on the Taptic Engine similar to the one in iPhone 7 and iPhone 8. The iPhone 9 will also use older Touch ID rather than the newer Face ID security, but will still support the Apple Pay and Express Transit contactless payment systems, as well as scanning of NFC tags without having to open an app.
The iPhone 9 tagline is speculative, and given that Apple skipped from iPhone 8 to X/XS/XR and to iPhone 11, a bit confusing. (The unconfirmed phone has also been nicknamed the iPhone SE 2.) MacRumors reported last year that Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s research indicated the iPhone 9 would launch by the end of March 2020 and retail for $399, while history indicates that any plus-sized version would cost about $100 more.
According to 9to5Mac, the launch date is currently expected as sometime this spring, “possibly alongside or after the release of iOS 13.4.” However, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has severely disrupted global supply chains – hardware shortages of all kinds have been reported throughout the tech world – and now Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2020 has been moved online due to health concerns, so that timetable may no longer be the case.