Will Apple Release iPhone 9? Dates and Rumors

Apple launched the iPhone 8 a couple years ago alongside a new smartphone — the iPhone X. A year later, we saw the successor to the iPhone X, and that would be the iPhone XS series of smartphones, including the iPhone XR, then that was followed by the iPhone 11. However, we didn’t see any iPhone 9 alongside those phones, indicating that Apple might be discontinuing the traditional iPhone in favor of the new all-screen design with the Face ID module.

Will Apple release iPhone 9 though? If you follow along with us below, we’ll show you the current rumors and possible release dates circulating around the phone. Follow along with us below!

iPhone 9 Rumors Update 02/18/2020

  • A German source suggests that Apple will host a media event on the 31st of March and will launch the much-awaited successor to the iPhone SE on the 3rd of April.
  • This rumored event may also see the launch of other products like the rumored AirTags item trackers.
  • The iPhone SE 2 is also rumored to be known as the iPhone 9 when it is unveiled, although there’s no concrete information on this front.

Naming confusion

So where is the iPhone 9? That’s the question that everyone is asking. From what it sounds like, we won’t be getting an iPhone 9 at all, and most of the rumors are actually because of some naming confusion, and rightly so. During the launch of the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X, Apple played what might be considered to be some confusing number games.

What happened was that the iPhone 8 and iPhone X actually launched on Apple iPhone’s 10th anniversary. So, Apple essentially skipped over the iPhone 9, calling its next phone the iPhone X — pronounced the iPhone 10 — as a play on words of its anniversary of the iPhone.

So, if you’re looking for an actual iPhone 9, you’re, unfortunately, probably not ever going to get one. And in all honesty, the iPhone 8 would’ve been better called the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus, largely because there were hardly any improvements between the two phones. It was more of an incremental upgrade than anything. Suffice to say, there’s a lot of naming confusion going on here, and unfortunately, it just isn’t looking like an iPhone 9 is in Apple’s sights. The iPhone 10 series and beyond is the future.

Where is the confusion exactly? It comes down to Apple trying to do a play on the iPhone’s anniversary. It really comes down to how Apple wants the phone pronounced. Most people say “iPhone Ex” instead of “iPhone Ten”. So yeah, unfortunately, no iPhone 9 — Apple skipped over that entirely, deciding to continue the iPhone naming convention from the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. And, it doesn’t seem to be planning to resurrect the iPhone 9 name anytime soon.

If you want an iPhone 9, the iPhone XR is it

There was a lot to love about the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8. They were fairly small phones that were easily carried around, and without taking up a ridiculous amount of space in your pocket. It was just an easier size to use as well, not requiring two hands for comfortable use.

Apple understands that, which is why they launched a new device alongside the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max — the iPhone XR, or the iPhone 10-R, as Apple would like it pronounced.

The iPhone XR actually has a lot of similarities to Apple’s traditional iPhone devices, first and foremost having a similar, more comfortable size. It’s the size and function of the traditional iPhone, but with some extra goodies found on the newer series of iPhones as well.

The iPhone XR actually doesn’t have the dual-camera setup that the iPhone XS phones have, featuring the smaller, circular lens that was found an the iPhone 8 and iPhone 7. However, it does come with the secure and encrypted Face ID module that’s found with the iPhone X and beyond. That said, you could picture the iPhone XR as the best of both worlds.

Sure, it might not be a suitable replacement for the rugged style that the iPhone 8 sort-of had, but it still gets you pretty close to everything that you once loved about that phone.

You could picture this iPhone 9 fiasco as the same thing that Microsoft did with Windows. There was a Windows 8 and a Windows 8.1, but then Microsoft completely skipped over Windows 9 and jumped to Windows 10. It doesn’t often make a whole lot of sense, but that’s just what happened.

Scared to jump towards to the iPhone XR?

Sure, we can say the iPhone XR is the iPhone 9, but is it really going to be like what the iPhone 8 was? Not at all — there are a lot of design improvements to make things like wireless charging a lot more possible. However, it’s worth noting that, despite the iPhone XR having a lot of changes — and it being a lower-end phone than, say, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, it’s still become one of the best selling iPhone models to date.

When Apple launched the iPhone XR in the fourth quarter of 2018, it instantly became the best selling iPhone, and they have kept that momentum all the way into the first quarter of 2019.

This information comes by way of research firm CIRP. Apple no longer releases iPhone unit sales to the public, and so we’re stuck with research firms getting that information for us. That said, CIRP conducted a survey, with a sample size of 500 customers, showing that the iPhone XR was the best selling phone in the fourth quarter, and into the first.

Here’s the word from CIRP co-founder Josh Lowitz himself:

“iPhone XR continues to dominate US iPhone sales. It remains the best-selling individual model again this quarter, after launch early in the December 2018 quarter. In the US, the newest iPhone models sold about as well as the newest models a year ago, at about 60% of total sales. Based on these trends, we estimate an Average Selling Price of around $800, a decrease from the previous quarter.”

As far as specifics go, CIRP actually found that the iPhone XR accounted for 38 percent of iPhone sales in the United States, whereas the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max accounted for a meager 21 percent of sales during the first three months of 2019. Suffice to say, a lot of people love what Apple has packed into the iPhone XR, and it truly is acting as an excellent replacement for the iPhone XR.

There’s a lot of different factors out there as far as what the iPhone XR’s success could be because of. Sure, it could be because folks wanted something similar to the iPhone 8, at least as far as size and specifications go. However, a lot of it could have to deal with rising flagship smartphone prices as well.

Let’s face it — they’re getting pretty out of hand. A completely spec’d out iPhone XS Max will set you back around $1500, and the same goes for phones on the other side of the software spectrum, like the Galaxy S10 Plus and the Galaxy Note 9. The LG G8 ThinQ is certainly no cheap option either.

The iPhone XR comes in at an affordable price, coming in at only $749. That’s nearly half of what the spec’d out iPhone XS Max is going to set consumers back. Not only that, but Apple regularly offers deals to make it even more affordable — there are regular discounts on the phone, and Apple’s trade-in program usually allows you to trade in your old phone so that you can get the iPhone XR for just $449. Depending on the phone you have, and the condition of it, you could get an iPhone XR for as little as $250.

Suffice to say, the iPhone XR will no doubt continue its dominance in electronic smartphone sales throughout 2019, establishing itself as an excellent replacement for what many might consider to be the missed iPhone 9.

Should you upgrade?

So now the question is, should you upgrade your current phone to the iPhone XR? If your phone is definitely needing replacing, we would say yes, it’s worth it. However, if you can wait a few months, that would be the wise decision with how far we are into the release cycle.

It’s not going to be very long now before Apple announces its new set of iPhone models for 2020, and launches them in the fall at some point. If you want to stay on the cutting edge of technology, it’s definitely worth waiting for the new iPhone models. That way you won’t behind, and won’t miss a major design change, which Apple should actually be set to do this time around.

There are a lot of rumors circulating around the new iPhones. For one, we’re expecting to see some advanced wireless charging, allowing you to set, say, your Apple AirPods on the back of your iPhone to charge your AirPods up. We’re expecting to see larger batteries as well, and possibly even a quad-camera setup.

Silence from Apple

Most folks have moved on from the iPhone 9, completely satisfied with the iPhone XR and all of the great things that the “iPhone Ten” line has brought to the table. However, for the folks that loved the iPhone 8 and were holding out for a similar iPhone 9 replacement, they’re left wanting.

That’s why it would be nice to at least hear something from Apple about the iPhone 9. We’re pretty sure it just isn’t going to happen at this point, but some clarity on the reason behind it would at least be welcome for fans. Face ID phones are the way forward for Apple, and we’re not likely to see an iPhone 8-style phone in an iPhone 9 ever again.

The closest we could get to that would possibly be an iPhone SE 2, which we’re also anxiously waiting for.

The iPhone 11

Apple is definitely not planning on bringing the iPhone 9 out. As discussed earlier, the iPhone XR was pretty much the successor to that, and the launch of the iPhone 11 just further confirms that. It looks like we’re never going to see that small, single-lens smartphone ever again.

We’re onto bigger and better things, though. There are actually some great things happening with the iPhone 11. For one, you’re getting a bigger phone, better hardware, and a better camera setup. It may cost around the same that a standard iPhone 8 did, but you’re getting much more value for money.

This happens frequently in product cycles

This is actually something that happens frequently in product cycles. It isn’t unheard of that companies completely skip sequential numbers. Companies in some countries do this because the number could be considered unlucky in that culture.

However, companies like Microsoft have been known to do that simply to mark the beginning of a new product — i.e. Microsoft moving from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, completely skipping “Windows 9”. Apple is essentially doing the same thing here, because the iPhone X was easily a completely new beginning for the iPhone.

Apple has been really great at math since they started in 2007 (or boomed in 2007). There’s the iPhone 3g, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and then, iPhone X. Disregarding numeral types here, where’s iPhone 9 or IX? Samsung has never missed a number. Why did Apple lose the 9?

There’s a good chance Apple intentionally missed 9 to reserve it for something bigger. 9 is a lucky number, after all. Could 2019 be the year for iPhone 9?

iPhone Features

First, it will be helpful to discuss what features are new in the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. Comes in colors silver, black, and gold, iPhone 8 is a 4.7-inch device with retina HD display. It has got a 12-MP back camera, 7-MP front camera, 1334-by-750-pixel resolution at 326 ppi, and 1400:1 contrast ratio. It uses a second generation fingerprint sensor touch-ID as device security and an A11 Bionic Neural Chip as its processor. It’s 148 grams in weight and 5.45 by 2.65 by 0.29 inch in size. It is water resistant of up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes and rated IP67. It supports wireless charging and is fast-charge capable. The iPhone 8’s battery can hold a talk time of about 14 hours, internet use of up to 12 hours, and audio playback of up to 40 hours.

iPhone 8 Plus is slightly bigger, with 5.5-inch retina display, dual wide angle and telephoto camera of 12 MP, 7-MP front camera, 1334-by-750-pixel resolution at 326 ppi, and 1300:1 contrast ratio. Like its older sibling, it also has a fingerprint sensor touch-ID and an A11 Bionic Neural Chip. It’s heavier than the iPhone 8 with 202 grams and size of 6.24 by 3.07 by 0.30 inches. It has the same splash, dust, and water-resistance but a longer battery life that can hold a talk time of about 21 hours and audio playback of up to 69 hours. It also supports fast charging and is wireless-charger compatible.

The iPhone X series comes in four variants. iPhone X, XS, XR, and XS Max. iPhone X comes in colors black and silver, XS and XS Max in black, silver, and gold, and XR in blue, white, coral, red, yellow, black and white. The X series’ screens are bigger than the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. The iPhone X and XS are 5.8-inch super retina HD display devices, iPhone XR s slightly bigger with 6.1 inches, and XS Max is the biggest of the four, with 6.5 inches. iPhone X and XS have a 2436-by-1125-pixel resolution at 458 ppi, XS Max at 2688-by-1242-pixel resolution at 458 ppi, and XR has a 1792-by-828-pixel resolution at 326 ppi. Except for the iPhone XR with a 1400: 1 contrast ratio, iPhone X, XS, and XS Max all have a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. All, except the iPhone XR with an IPS LCD, have an OLED display. iPhone XR is also missing out on an HDR display and a 3D touch. All these X devices have a true color display, wide color display (P3), and 625 cd/m2 maximum brightness.

Of course, the iPhone XS Max is the biggest, in terms of dimensions, among the X series phones. It’s 6.20 by 3.05 by 0.30 inches in size, iPhone X and XS are 5.65 by 2.79 by 0.30 inches, and iPhone XR is 5.94 by 2.98 by 0.33 inches. All, except the iPhone XR which had an aluminum and glass material, have stainless steel and glass for their build.

In terms of weight, the iPhone XS Max is the heaviest with 208 grams, followed by XR with 194 grams. iPhone X and XS are almost of the same size with 174 and 177 grams, respectively.

All of the iPhone X devices have a 12 MP back camera. Except for the iPhone XR, they all have a wide-angle at 1.8 aperture, telephoto camera at 2.4 aperture for video recording, and dual optical image stabilization. They also have a 7 MP TrueDepth front camera, a 2.2 aperture, retina flash, HDR photo feature, portrait lightning with natural, studio, contour, stage, and stage mono effects, 1080P Video Recording, Quad-LED true tone flash with slow sync, and the exciting, Animoji and Memoji features. In terms of video and except for the iPhone X, the devices also have cinematic video stabilization, the extended dynamic range for video at 30 fps, 2x optical zoom, digital zoom up to 6x, and portrait mode with advanced bokeh and depth control. But then, inclusive of the iPhone X, they all have slo-mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps, 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps, time-lapse video with stabilization, and stereo recording.

The battery has also improved for the iPhone X series. With the iPhone X and XR lasting longer than the iPhone 8, iPhone XS’ battery life lasts 30 minutes longer than the iPhone X, and the XS Max 1.5 hours even longer. The talk time is between 21 to 25 hours, internet use is from 12 to 15 hours, video playback is 13-16 hours, and audio playback is from 60 to 65 hours on full battery. With an 18W adapter, these devices can charge up to 50% of the battery within 30 minutes. The iPhone X series also supports wireless charging and work with Qi chargers and wireless earpods, which can be purchased separately.

Instead of a touch-ID, the series has gotten upgraded security with Face ID, a revolution in the phone world. With the exemption of the iPhone X that has A11, the rest of the iPhone X series use an A12 Bionic Chip with the next-generation neural engine. They are all splash, dirt, and water-resistant; iPhone X and XR are rated IP67 under the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard 60529, which means they can hold up for up to 1 meter for 30 minutes under water. iPhone XS and XS Max are slightly more resistant, with an IP68 rating and can hold for about 2 meters for about 30 minutes underwater. Of course, tests proved the devices to survive for longer than 30 minutes and deeper than 1-2 meters, but to be on the safe, it’s best to stay within the standard.

While the iPhone X still uses the nano-sim, the iPhone XR, XS, XS Max can support both nano and e-sim. The e-sims, however, are still up for the next update. Among these four, iPhone XS Max has the biggest capacity of up 512 GB. That’s a lot of memory in one small device!

For cellular and wireless capabilities, the X series all use GSM/Edge and 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO (multiple input, multiple output), and Bluetooth 5.0. iPhone X and XR use 4G LTE advanced data plan, and iPhone XS and XS Max use gigabit-class LTE. All of these devices had an iOs 12 operating system, UMTS (universal mobile telecommunications service/ HSPA (high-speed packet access) and CDMA (code division multiple access).  All use an express card with a power serve except for the iPhone X.

Did Apple Release an iPhone 9?

Now that iPhone 8 and iPhone 10s have been compared, where is iPhone 9? It was the talk of 2017 since iPhone X was released in September, the same way that people looked for an iPhone 2 when iPhone 3G was released.

For Apple, timing is everything, and they had to skip ahead and miss 9 to make it just in time to released iPhone 10 on their 10th anniversary in 2017. Of course, 10 marked the spot, and they had to release something revolutionary to make it count. That said, it seems that iPhone 9 will never be seen in the apple’s technology timeline.

Apple did release a 9 in the midst of the 10 series, only that, they did not name it that way. Of course, to make it reasonable, the iPhone 9 was expected to be cheaper than the iPhone 10 but must have better features than the 8. The predictions were quite right.

With the exemption of the iPhone X, the rest of the X series phones were released in 2018. Surprisingly, iPhone XR was released in October 2018, a month after XS and XS Max phones were introduced. Looking at the prices, the iPhone XS Max is the most expensive, followed by the XS, then the X and the XR as the cheapest. Having compared all the X devices, XR is the closest iPhone to a longed-for iPhone 9. It’s cheaper than the iPhone 10, has better features in terms of camera, security, and processor that the iPhone 8, and its features are comparable with the rest of the iPhone X devices. Therefore, XR is the 9.

There’s no formula to describe how XR is the iPhone 9. At this point, the public has accepted the fact that there’s no 9 or IX. 2019 is also not the year that we get to complete the missing number in the set. What’s important is that Apple devices remain classy and tasteful in their devices, and they all deserve a bite, regardless of what they’re called.


So far, it looks like Apple just isn’t going to be releasing an iPhone 9 at all. They entirely skipped over the iPhone 9 and went straight to the iPhone X (pronounced iPhone Ten). And with the XS (ten S) now out, we’re only expecting Apple to move up the numerical chain into 11.

Rumors about the iPhone 9 have essentially all faded away, which indicates that we likely will not be seeing iPhone 9 at all. As we mentioned above, the iPhone XR seems like it was the phone that fit the bill for the iPhone, so we may very well already have the iPhone 9, but under a different naming guise.

The iPhone XR is almost exactly what we would expect in an iPhone 9 anyway — a single-lens camera, a fast hardware setup, and a big battery.

So for now, you can expect an iPhone 9 to be permanently put to rest — it just doesn’t seem like something that we’ll be getting anytime soon the way Apple is going right now.

Unfortunately, the iPhone 9 just isn’t going to happen. Apple skipped over that entirely, moving to the iPhone 10 from the iPhone 8 line of phones. That said, the iPhone XR is the closest that you’re going to get to the iPhone 9, and it does make an excellent replacement for what the iPhone 9 should’ve been.

However, if you can, since we’re so far into the release cycle, it’s worth waiting to see what Apple launches this upcoming fall! What’s your favorite choice from Apple’s new line of iPhone models? Let us know in the comments section below — we’d love to hear from you.