Apple has done it again! Last week the company accidentally confirmed its first new 2020 iPhone, and now a second Apple error has confirmed another brand new model.
Picked up by the sleuths at 9to5Mac, Apple has accidentally left details of a new 5.5-inch budget iPhone in beta code for iOS 14 which is understood to launch alongside the hotly anticipated iPhone 9 / iPhone SE2. This means the new models could arrive in just weeks*.
03/18 Update: AppleInsider has attained further information from Apple’s spoilerific iOS 14 code with news that the much leaked new Time of Flight (ToF) camera sensors expected in the iPhone 12 line-up will actually only be fitted in iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max models. The hit of this for iPhone 12 owners is unlikely to be felt primarily in the camera (as previously explained), but rather in Augmented Reality due to the ToF’s ability to accurately map its immediate environment in three dimensions. AR is understood to be a huge part of Apple’s push with iPhones and iOS this year and will be a deal-breaker for some who had planned to buy the cheaper iPhone 12. That said, I expect for many that it will be another example of Apple correctly removing features from the entry-level model that most mainstream users will not mind giving up. Furthermore, given the iPhone 12’s primary upgrades, there’s little doubt this is still going to be Apple’s biggest selling model.
9to5Mac states Apple’s iOS 14 code twins this 5.5-inch iPhone with the 4.7-inch iPhone 9 (name still TBC) and, as such, is expected to be something of an ‘iPhone 9 Plus’. While the naming remains speculative, the move would see Apple effectively revive the branding used from the iPhone 6 to the iPhone 8 and both the new models are understood to adopt their older design, along with Touch ID instead of Face ID. That said, their primary specs will be cutting edge.
9to5Mac says evidence indicates that both budget models will run the same ballistically quick A13 Bionic chip used in the iPhone 11 range. Moreover, previous leaks suggest the phones – while equipped with only one rear camera – could use the primary camera in the iPhone 11 line-up as well. And then there’s the price, which is the real clincher.
Pricing leaks also peg the iPhone 9 range as starting from just $399 which would mean the line-up is eminently affordable, despite packing the fastest phone chipset on the market and (arguably), the best cameras. Downsides: 5G will not make the cut at this price point and the headphone jack won’t make a return (that died with the iPhone 7).
Furthermore, these phones are just an appetizer for Apple’s main course: the iPhone 12. Apple’s 2020 showpiece will deliver MacBook Pro-like performance, a fourth camera, new ProMotion displays using next-gen OLED panels and Apple’s potentially bespoke 5G antennas. *The elephant in the room, of course, is COVID-19 so when it comes to the release of both the iPhone 9 line-up (expected in late March) and iPhone 12 models (expected early/mid-September), the picture remains highly fluid.
That said, both 2020 iPhone ranges look to be well worth the wait.