UPDATE: The iPhone 9 – and new iPad Pro – were scheduled for launch this month, however, the development and spread of COVID-19 coronavirus in the US and elsewhere have forced Apple to cancel the launch and, according to reports, both devices’ release dates.
What does this mean? Things are unclear at the moment, but it looks as if Apple will push the launch and release of the iPhone 9 and its new iPad range back until later on in the year. It might consolidate ALL product launches into one, meaning the iPhone 9 and new iPads could launch alongside the iPhone 12 range in late-2020.
The reason for this could be multifaceted. It could be down to concerns over the spread of coronavirus or it could be down to production problems in China, the place where COVID-19 originated. Additionally, it could be a combination of the two.
Either way, COVID-19 is now having a MAJOR effect on the technology industry.
The degree to which this continues depends on how things play out with COVID-19. And right now, no one really knows how that will turn out. It’s not just Apple that is canceling launches either. Google is apparently canceling Google I/O 2020 as well. And MWC 2020 was nixed this year too, over fears of COVID-19 in Europe. Expect plenty more disturbances to product cycles as COVID-19 progresses.
Read on for our original story about the iPhone 9’s launch date below (it was published on February 19)…
Apple will hold an official event on March 31 – it looks like we’re getting an iPhone SE 2 (AKA the iPhone 9) after all…
Apple will apparently launch both the iPhone SE 2 (AKA the iPhone 9) and the iPad Pro 2 on March 31. Invites have now been sent out for the launch event which takes place in Apple’s usual haunt in California.
The main event of the launch will, of course, be the iPhone SE 2 – or, the iPhone 9, as it is increasingly being referred to. The iPhone 9, if the rumors are true, will become Apple’s entry-level iPhone and it is expected to retail for $399.99.
If this is true, it could be a massive game-changer for Apple’s iPhone line up. It’d also be the cheapest iPhone by a country mile as well. The idea of a $399.99 iPhone has been the stuff of dreams for many people since the advent of the iPhone X.
In 2020, it looks as if that dream will come true – and even if it is slightly more expensive, say $499.99, for instance, it’d still be a very popular release. And because of the nature of Apple’s iPhone business, it won’t be too worried about the iPhone 9 cannibalizing iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro/Pro Max sales.
Giving The People What They Want (Cheaper iPhones)
Throughout 2019/20, sales of $1000+ phones have not been strong. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that flagship sales are waning (and have been for quite some time). And the reason for this is simple: customers are being drawn away from $1000 phones to cheaper, more cost-effective options from brands like Xiaomi, OPPO, and OnePlus.
“Smartphone vendors shipped a total of 310.8 million units in 1Q19,” notes IDC, “which marked the sixth consecutive quarter of decline. In 2018, smartphone shipments dropped 4.1% over 2017, which was inclusive of a first-quarter that was down 3.5% – just half of what the market experienced in 1Q19. This quarter’s results are a clear sign that 2019 will be another down year for worldwide smartphone shipments. The only highlight from a vendor perspective was Huawei, which made a strong statement by growing volume and share despite market headwinds.”
Apple and Samsung know this. Both are currently suffering. But unlike Samsung, Apple’s iPhone doesn’t have any real presence in the low-to-middle segments of the phone market. Currently, the cheapest iPhone option you can buy is the iPhone 11; it retails for $699.99 for the base model.
iPhone 9 Specs & Pricing (What We’re Expecting)
The iPhone 9 – again, if the rumors are true – would come in well below this price point. Most seem to agree Apple will retail the iPhone 9 for $399.99 – doing this would ensure a nice price gap between the iPhone 9 and the iPhone 11. Plus, making the iPhone 9 any more expensive than $400 would only serve to weaken the appeal.
What about specs for the iPhone 9? Right now, the iPhone 9 has not launched, so all we have to go on are rumors – and they tend to be hit and miss. We’d expect to see Apple’s A13 chipset, 3GB of RAM, a 4.7 or 5.8in LCD display, multiple color options, and most likely the same single camera setup used on the iPhone 8 and iPhone XR.
To be honest, I’m actually really excited about the prospect of the iPhone 9. A sub-$400 iPhone that runs Apple’s A13 CPU would be massively impressive, even if Apple cuts some corners by removing things like 5G, OLED displays, and dual-camera lens.
I’m now officially very excited…