Rumor has it Apple plans to launch a total of five different iPhone models, four of which could go live in the fall, as per the company’s typical iPhone release schedule.
However, the fifth model is the mysterious second-generation iPhone SE, which was originally expected last year but which appears to be on the table for a March launch.
Often referred to as iPhone SE2 but likely to end up being called iPhone 9, this will once again be positioned as Apple’s smallest and most affordable new-generation iPhone.
At first glance, many don’t see any good reason for Apple to launch a new small iPhone in addition to the premium versions due in September, but in the long term, iPhone 9 is actually a product that the Cupertino-based tech giant absolutely needs.
From a product lineup perspective, the iPhone 9 might indeed not make much sense, especially because the addition of a fifth iPhone model would obviously make buying a new Apple smartphone much more complicated.
However, there are two things that iPhone 9 is supposed to do. First, iPhone 9 must help the upgrade to new-generation hardware, something that the original iPhone SE itself was responsible for. And second, it could help Apple expand in the mid-range smartphone market where it really has a hard time competing against Android devices.
So how could iPhone 9 boost the upgrade pace to new-generation hardware?
Right now, the oldest iPhones that Apple still supports are iPhone SE and iPhone 6s, both of which could get updates for another year, if an iOS 14 report is anything to go by. iPhone 6s was launched in September 2015, so it’s more than 4 years old already, being powered by Apple’s A9 chip paired with 2GB RAM and a maximum of 128GB storage.
While iPhone 6s still runs pretty smoothly, it lacks support for more modern tech that Apple offers on new-generation iPhones, so by offering these users a more affordable upgrade option, leaving behind the 2015 model might actually be much easier. iPhone 6s holdouts aren’t necessarily interested in upgrading to a new iPhone when it comes out, so after 5 years, spending some $400 might make more sense.
Then, iPhone 9 could also serve as a more familiar experience for users who loved the original iPhone design. With iPhone X and newer coming with a notch and Face ID, some people stick with previous models just because they like the old-school approach with a home button, Touch ID, and bigger bezels that more or less make an iPhone easier to hold in hand. iPhone 9 will be based on the design of the iPhone 8 and will feature a 4.7-inch LCD screen, which means it’ll sport new-generation hardware in an old-generation body.
When it comes to tackling the mid-range market with the iPhone 9, Apple doesn’t necessarily expect to conquer this part of the mobile industry. And the company doesn’t even want to, as iPhones have always been positioned as a premium purchase.
But what iPhone 9 can do is make it less expensive for mid-range…